Post-pandemic job hunting in 2021 looks a little different. From how to handle video interviews to beating the ATS, here are 8 things you need to know if you’re looking for your purpose and a new job in 2021.
You can cope with WFH
Fully remote, hybrid – no one is 100% sure what future work patterns will look like yet. But right now, remote working is still a big thing and is playing a big part in post-pandemic job hunting. Even if the role you’re after isn’t remote, demonstrating that you can cope with remote working is a great idea. Let your employer know that you have the discipline and commitment to work without direct supervision all the time. What employer doesn’t want that?
Keep the ATS happy
ATS or Applicant Tracking System is software that supports the recruitment process. Cvs and cover letters are run through the system and scanned for keywords associated with the role, and then ranked in order of suitability. They are widely used by employers of all sizes, and they are not going anywhere. So, if you want to land an interview, you need to work the ATS system. (find out more here >>> ) And that means keywords. Look for keywords in the job description and person spec, and make sure you’re using the exact phrases as the employer when demonstrating your experience and skills. Double-win. While showing them that you have the expertise they need, you’re simultaneously showing them that you speak the same language and are strategic enough to work with the ATS.
If you’re post-pandemic job hunting in 2021, chances are you’ll have quite a few video interviews. What started as a necessity during the pandemic has become a staple in 2021. Video interviews bring many advantages, no last-minute panic at getting stuck in traffic, no awkward wait in the foyer ahead of your interview. The questions will be the same as an in-person interview (read more about interview Qs here>>> ). Instead, you need to consider your WiFi strength – nothing kills the vibe like buffering. Your background, keep it uncluttered and neutral so as not to distract. Lighting, they need to see your face, so don’t position yourself in front of a window.
A specific type of video interview, here you will record your answers to questions that appear on the screen. Usually in the earliest stages as pre-screening, so these are generally pretty short.
Your personal brand
No, we’re not getting into influencer territory. But make sure your email address is appropriate and with a modern service provider – think GMail, not Yahoo. Don’t force an employer to send an interview request to “firstname.lastname@example.org”. Admittedly, it might help you stand out from the crowd, but not for the right reasons.
87% of recruiters head to LinkedIn first when they receive an application. So make it easy for them. Include a link to your LinkedIn directly in your cv and/or cover letter. When they get there, your profile should be showing you off the very best it can. Your profile is your shop window, so use the ‘About’ section to sell yourself why you love what you do, what you have learned so far, what you’re like as a team member. Anything that helps potential employers understand who you are and why you are so good. Especially useful if you are looking to move into a new area (like taking your marketing skills to work for a social justice-focused business). If the pandemic has inspired a change in direction for you because you want to follow your purpose, own it and put it on your LinkedIn. Highlight the areas in your current job that support your application for the job you want to get.
Employers don’t need to see your entire history. If that first or second job isn’t going to help you get THIS job, don’t include them. You want to make sure you give them the best possible representation that your experience makes you the perfect candidate. But, if you’re in the early years of your career and you’re looking to break into your chosen industry, use those jobs to show that you’re dependable, reliable and gained transferable skills in areas like customer service or organisation.
Don’t waste space on references
There’s limited ‘real estate’ on your cv. Unless you’re using a tiny font (don’t do that), you can only fit so many characters in, so you have to make them all count. Employers will always ask for and expect references. Instead of taking up valuable space on the phrase “references available upon request”, take that line and squeeze in another bullet point on your “skills and experience” section.