For many jobseekers, the new year is a time to make changes and embark on the search for a new role. Likewise for employers, the new year can often align with fiscal goals that include an increased hiring budget. Indeed, LinkedIn data shows that job seeking activity typically peaks in the first quarter.
Despite pandemic-related changes in the past year, January 2021 continues to show momentum in terms of job seeking and hiring activities, and this is likely to continue throughout 2021, well past the first few months of the year. It’s no denying that global unemployment has soared as a consequence of Covid-19. Yet, at the same time, the global economy is expected to expand by 5% this year — a rate faster than previously recorded to date this century.
This is a positive indication that opportunities are out there, even if they look a bit different than they did prior to 2020. For starters, the number of employees permanently working remotely is set to double this year, rising to 34.4% globally. This means that, as our “new normal” has changed, the hiring process this year is different, both for those seeking employment and in terms of what managers are looking for in candidates.
At PitchMe, we’ve pulled together our insights to offer some helpful do’s and don’ts for what you need to know to get a job you love in 2021.
Demonstrate that you’re digitally savvy
In a year where we’ve learned to rely on Zoom for everything from catching up over coffee with friends to joining workouts to running business meetings, the hiring process in 2021 will be no different. Employers and HR teams are already leveraging videoconferencing technology to run the entire length of the hiring process, from introductory chats all the way through to final stage interviews.
As a candidate looking to make a good first impression and stand out against the crowd, displaying digital know-how sends the message that you’re digitally savvy and comfortable using all manner of digital tools to present yourself and navigate the hiring process.
That means you’ll want to demonstrate that you’re comfortable participating in the hiring process using online platforms like Google Meets, Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Being able to use collaboration software like Slack and digital scheduling tools like Calendly right from your first conversation with an employer also shows that you’re ready to work productively in a remote setting.
Uplevel your digital skills
However, if your digital skills aren’t up to scratch and you find yourself struggling to understand new platforms and ways of working in a fully-digital environment, you may consider choosing to upskill.
Fortunately, there are many online courses available to help you gain valuable digital skills that will help not only through the interview process, but also boost your overall skill set. At PitchMe, we provide employee skill assessments to identify any skills gaps, and match you with over 50 courses designed to boost your skill level.
Get comfortable with saying yes to a fully remote role
After some upheaval in the workplace, the dust has settled a bit with many companies settling into long-term home working roles. Companies such as Twitter and Square have made commitments to indefinite, fully remote working roles moving forward.
That means that finding the job you’re looking for may include being prepared to work fully remote, especially if you’re looking for a job with a startup. It’s not unlikely that the topic of remote working may come up as a question for the interviewee.
Make sure you’re prepared by understanding what a fully remote role entails and being ready to consider a role that will be heavily centred around fully remote working models.
Be smart with your job search
Ever wondered who’s been looking at your profile? LinkedIn is a popular platform for job seekers as well as for recruiters and employers looking to hire candidates. Recently, the professional social networking site has started to allow users to add a new banner to their profile with the hashtags #opentowork and #opentooppotunities.
This is meant to allow employers and recruiters identify those who are looking for new roles and target them appropriately. However, some experts warn that this can backfire and affect a hiring bias against the user, because recruiters may unconsciously see this as looking “desperate.”
Yet, on the whole, skills speak louder than hashtags; employers more interested in employee skills. In today’s economy, it’s more important than ever to showcase your skills comprehensively, so that you differentiate yourself from other jobseekers in the market.
A few key ways in which you can make your skills shine:
- Create additional profiles, such as a portfolio or blog on your personal website and show them to prospective employers as an add-on to your CV.
Showcasing your achievements and skills in one easy-to-read, digital space will help enrich CVs and bring your work profile to life.
- Remember to showcase a wide spectrum of skills, including personality profiles that can be measured by career personality tests such as eSkill, MTBI, or DISC assessments.
These help employers see the full picture of you as a candidate and what you bring to the table beyond professional qualifications.
- Don’t underestimate the importance of soft skills and transferable skills. Again, hiring isn’t just about choosing the candidate based on qualifications alone.
There are a number of factors that go into choosing the right person for the job, and soft skills such as interpersonal, communication, listening and time management skills are just as important to potential employers as hard skills.
These often come up as behavioural interview questions, so use your CV and social profiles to showcase the best of your soft skills.
Levelling up with SmartMe
Taking all of the above advice on board, you can create a full spectrum profile for yourself with PitchMe’s SmartMe™ profile. It takes only minutes to sign up and it creates a 360 view of you as a candidate, incorporating your hard skills, soft skills and transferable skills.
Your SmartMe™ profile can then be shared externally on your LinkedIn page or personal website, as well as with more than 350 employers who use PitchMe to find candidates.
With a smart, technology-led approach to showcasing what makes you qualified for the job, 2021 may just be the best year to find what you’re looking for.