21 Job Search Tips and Trends for 2021
I love trend research because without it we wouldn’t have a clue about where the world is going. As career practitioners, if we don’t know where things are going, we run the risk of sharing outdated information with our clients, leaving them improperly equipped to compete in the marketplace. We need to keep current — especially in the rapidly changing world of work — and be aware of emerging trends so we can position our clients to act quickly and effectively when desired opportunities roll around. At the same time, let’s not forget the solid tried-and-true job tips that seem timeless. I’d like to share 21 of my favourite job search tips and trends that will hopefully help you help your clients.
21 Job Search Tips and Trends
- A client’s knowledge about the job search process and the quality of his or her own job search will influence the type of employer chosen and ultimately the career trajectory achieved.
- Managers are fearful of making a “bad hire” so the screening process is increasingly tough and a high number of candidates might be disqualified. For this reason, some hiring managers may turn to their personal networks to find strong potential candidates, thus creating a hidden job market.
- Recruiters are increasingly turning to their networks to find the best candidates. This is why maintaining relationships in their current networks and expanding into new ones is so important for clients.
- People hire those they like and trust. Clients who present a high degree of likability and rapport will do better in the job search process. Candidates who target like-minded companies with values close to their own and a culture that matches their preferred environment will excel in the job search process.
- Opportunities for working remotely continue to grow and clients are no longer limited by their geographical area. People who live in the country can find remote opportunities in the big city without ever leaving home.
- Part-time work is also on the rise, in large part due to employers wanting to cut salary and benefits costs. The workforce is increasingly comprised of consultants, contractors, freelancers, and outsource providers.
- Clients who understand and effectively communicate their value proposition in a variety of mediums — online and in-person networking, social media, résumé, etc. — will be effective job seekers.
- It will be harder to get job interviews if clients don’t understand how Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) work.
- Social media continues to grow as a job search tool. Many clients are still behind in this area. LinkedIn’s blogging feature now offers clients a platform where they can establish their brand and become thought leaders — raising their Google ranking and gaining more attention from hiring officials and recruiters.
- Résumés will become an aggregate of social media with more links to work, social media, video bios, etc. Keeping up with advances in modern, creative, technology-enhanced résumé development will be important.
- Mobile applications are quickly becoming a medium for job application. Job-search related communications are expected to be clear and to the point. Wordy cover letters and résumés will not be effective.
- Informal networking is on the increase. Clients who are uncomfortable in stiff, formal events can network with their colleagues over a quiet lunch or coffee.
- Emotional Intelligence (EI) will become increasingly important for effective networking and relationship building. Therefore, we must teach clients how to enhance their soft skills.
- Hard and soft skills are becoming just as important as experience and education. Employers are looking at how clients will use their skills in the position.
- Using the phone for follow-up calls is gaining importance once again. The client who follows up with the recruiter by phone is often the “gem” that the employer is seeking.
- With remote working on the rise — and here to stay for many — video communication is also trending, giving people opportunities to conduct video interviews and meetings. Recruiters are increasingly using mobile applications to interview candidates.
- More companies are interviewing candidates in groups rather than one-on-one sessions. Clients will need to become comfortable interacting with interviewers and candidates in small groups.
- Companies are asking candidates for writing samples where they introduce themselves in an email or present what they will accomplish in their first few weeks on the job. Job search document preparation will expand into new areas.
- Job seekers are doing reference checks on companies. Known as reverse reference checks, rather than taking the company’s word as to how great it is, job seekers are asking former or current employees if the company is true to its word.
- Job seekers can design their own careers that suit their values and personality while adding balance to their lives. Companies that don’t heed this trend will lose out on talented employees.
- Some job seekers are beginning to outsource portions of their job search to private on-shore and off-shore services. This is a pricey option, and if the service does not produce results, some job seekers will not be able to spend on this type of service long-term.
As the old saying goes, “knowledge is power.” The more we know about job search trends, the more empowered we become to help our clients shorten their job search and increase their career success.
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Giselle Mazurat is a Certified Résumé Strategist through Career Professionals of Canada. She specializes in helping technical and skilled trade professionals reach their career goals by creating industry-focused résumés and LinkedIn profiles. Giselle is also a gig worker who is never short of work writing technical documentation for Fortune 500 companies and government.