There is no denying that everything changed during 2020, and there is no denying the driving factor in this change: COVID-19. After a significant disruption during the initial lockdown period, the pandemic shook up the hiring process for many employers.
The events of 2020 have profoundly changed all our lives. For so many, work was terminated or altered completely. Working parents were forced into unprecedented situations, and almost everyone is forced into the “new normal” as Zoom meetings, and handwashing becomes routine.
As much as we are looking forward to being able to socialize without restrictions, some changes will be lasting. We have seen offices shut their doors, favouring work-from-home solutions as employers now view remote work as a viable and sustainable option. The summer of 2020 also saw the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement force the world to take a long-overdue look at racial inequality. As a result, equity, inclusivity, and diversity will become a major focus of evolving business guidelines and policies.
Job searchers fear not; we will tell you exactly how job searches have changed and how you can adapt to the changes to get the job you want!
How Job Search Changed in 2020
The year 2020 created many significant changes in our daily and working lives. Here’s what we expect will last when it comes to job searching and hiring expectations.
Since employers have seen remote work to be successful, jobs once locally-based or centred around a physical location have been opened up for remote or telework.
That means the job at your local business may be open to applicants from across the country. To be noticed, you will have to work harder, since you are also competing against more candidates and even stiffer competition.
Job searchers are expected to explain their merit and skills. But first, their resume must make it to the desk of the employer. For a resume to pass the applicant tracking system (ATS), it must adhere to strict guidelines.
First, your resume must contain keywords relevant to the job listing. It must also be written in a simple format, straightforwardly, without tables, headers, footers, and columns. On top of all of these, your resume must also relay your skills and work experience.
If you are struggling to figure out the keywords required to pass the ATS, it can help to read other job listings for the position you are applying for. Words that appear in most of the similar listings are more than likely keywords that should also appear in your resume.
If you have a resume that is a mix of keywords, your significant accomplishments and your work results, you will stand out amongst the other job candidates.
When hiring resumed after the lockdown ended, there was a symbolic race to the job searchers’ finish line.
Unfortunately, if you were hoping to bide your time for the perfect job and have therefore put off on applying for some openings, then you might find that waiting does not pay out.
If the right job hasn’t emerged on the market yet, turn to networking. While social distancing restrictions are in place, it may seem to be the worst time to try networking, but there are ways to do so while adhering to social distancing mandates. Join social media groups, connect with LinkedIn connections, and attend virtual meetings.
Merely being in these groups will not be enough. You will have to actively participate with other users, share your work experience, and engage with other user’s work and experience. Engage actively in networking, show potential recruiters that you are an asset to any team and market yourself as a brand.
The Job Interview
It will be rare to have an in-person interview, even once the pandemic has subsided. If online interviews are the norm, there will be an adjustment in the way you must prepare for the interview.
Hiring managers are conducting more interviews than normal since they have turned to online hiring. It is easier to schedule multiple online interviews with potential employees than to have candidates come to an office space. As a result, HR managers and recruiters can interview many more candidates.
Prepare for answering situational interview questions. This means that you will need to prepare for delivering instances of your accomplishments.
Remember to prepare for possible glitches. Things like internet connectivity issues, software problems, or even noise in your home can make for distractions from your interview. Turn off the Zoom background, clean your interview room, disconnect any other devices from your WiFi, and make sure you have a lockable door. It could be the difference between you landing the job or not.
How to Get Noticed
In the changing job search climate, you and your resume will need to stand out from the crowd. The easiest way to accomplish this is by following closely along with changing trends of employment. Having a resume that will pass the ATS while impressing a hiring manager and performing well during an interview are your other keys to success.
With the number of people on the hunt for a job, hiring a professional resume writer and interview coach will give you a leg up on the competition.
A professional resume writer dedicated to staying on top of employment trends understands how to create a cover letter and resume that gets noticed by ATS and impresses a recruiter or HR manager.
An interview coach with the same adaptive qualities can have you prepared for whatever tough interview questions you may be asked.
Amy at Career Marketing Centre is an award-winning resume writer and Career Development Practitioner.
When you hire Career Marketing Centre to craft your resume, you will receive a high-quality resume that is prepared based on an interview process that better understands the unique attributes that you bring to the table. For interview coaching, Amy will help you build confidence to perform your best at an interview. You will also receive potential interview questions and be coached by answering possible questions with a proven methodology.
COVID-19 may have changed the way our world functions, but with some careful planning, and an investment in your future from the Career Marketing Centre, you will be on your way to the career for which you have been planning.