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So many things have changed in the world of work. Many of us work from home now, and if we go to an office, we wear masks. Handshaking is out and the happy hours where we use to hang out with our work colleagues are few and far between or perhaps don’t happen at all. But something else has changed. If you’re looking for a job this year, you’ll notice a few differences from prior years. Here’s how looking for a job will be different in 2021.

Job Hunting in 2021

The first thing that’s different from last year is the economy. If you remember the months leading up to the pandemic, the economy was booming. It was a candidate’s market, and you probably had a few jobs to pick from. Not anymore. While we’ve rebounded a bit, unemployment skyrocketed during the pandemic. It changed the candidate environment and the employer’s willingness to hire. As we enter 2021, chances are, we’ll continue to feel the effects of 2020—at least for a while.

It’s uncharted territory now for many of us, and the historical trends we’ve seen in hiring probably won’t apply. Typically, we see a surge of new hires at the beginning of the year, along with a summer and holiday slow down. Companies that felt the effects of COVID, like the hospitality industry, may not have the surges they experienced from past years. Candidates can adapt to the uncertainty by keeping an eye on the trends that matter in their field. It’s a good idea to set up a Google alert for any news related to your industry. Keep your eyes peeled for any changes that may affect your job search. If you’ve targeted specific companies, watch their websites to see what’s the latest news.

If the job prospects seem thin, try to adjust your job search to apply for positions that you may not have considered in the past. This could mean considering a temporary or contract role or taking on freelance work. Maybe you need to consider other industries to expand your horizons.

Make it a priority to stay in touch with your network. Sometimes job seekers can grow weary of the search, but now is the time to reach out to your network and let them know where you’re at in your search, thank them for their help, and see if you can repay the favor or a referral or reference.

Look for industries that are booming over areas where they’re stagnant. Hot industries right now are healthcare and logistics. Do you have skills that these types of employers need? Hospitality is still struggling, although resorts and hotels may start to come back once the COVID vaccine is widely available.

The technology field continues to explode, so if you’re looking to add new skills, consider certification in project management, technical writing, or even programming. Customer service is also a hot field, so if you haven’t considered it, not is the time. Many of these roles even allow you to work from home, which most people consider a bonus.

If you haven’t considered working with a recruiter, 2021 is the year to make it happen. IES works closely with top employers to match them with the best talent. Start the conversation and see where your career can lead you. Contact us today.

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