Looking for a new job in 2021? Here are the top 5 keys to finding a job in 2021! These are job search strategies and techniques for job seekers during this COVID pandemic period.

Lady on video interview
Credit: Storyblocks

In this day and age, everything is virtual.

We buy food & groceries on our smart phones, have meetings on our laptops, and we talk to our friends and families through our webcams.

And especially during this pandemic period — we even apply, interview and get hired, virtually — all without ever seeing our future teams or managers in person.

Given this, your resume, online presence and virtual interviewing skills are ALL the more important in helping to land you that next dream job.

So if you’re on the hunt for a new career, then stick around as I highlight the top 5 things you can do to increasing your chances at landing a new job, in 2021.

Enhancing Your Resume

Let’s dive right into it with the first tip on our list: Enhancing your resume.

On average there are over 250 applications sent in for every single corporate job posting — and of those, usually 4–6 get an opportunity to interview, and eventually only one gets hired.

And according to this Ladders.com case study, the typical recruiter often spends no more than 7.4 seconds reviewing a resume.

That’s less time than it takes to tie one shoe.

Shoe tie image
It takes on average 8 seconds to tie a shoe.

What that means — is that your resume has to clearly and accurately convey the most important things you want it to represent about you, in those short 7.4 seconds.

So how do you do that? By optimizing your resume with these 3 tactics.

A) Include A Robust Summary/Overview

First, make sure you have a section near the top of your resume that outlines exactly who you are and what you’re experienced in — so that the recruiter gets a quick initial overview of what you bring to the table.

I like to have my title, key skills or disciplines, and functional experience written right at the top before I go into the work experience section.

Something like this would be sufficient here.

Daniel's Brew Resume Image
Resume Sample of Daniel’s Brew

B) Highlight Quantified Accomplishments

Next, when it comes to the work history section, as a rule of thumb, I always make the first line an overview of my work responsibilities, but every other bullet after that is a list of quantified accomplishments I’ve had within the role.

Daniel's Brew Resume Image 2
Example of a Job Description Bullet vs Quantified Results Bullet

It’s important to be explicit here and to clearly quantify the end results of your accomplishments with measurable figures and stats to make sure you convey the direct impacts of your actions.

Even as a hiring manager, when I’ve hired people in the past, too many times, have I seen these types of generic summaries of job responsibilities or unmeasurable claims of results that have made me wonder what this candidates direct contribution was to a particular role or project.

But every once in a while, I’d get a well written resume that showcased some hard facts and figures telling me exactly what their impact value was to their role — and these were the ones that I was most likely to want to interview.

C) Keyword Optimize For Your Role

The next thing you’ll want to ensure is that your resume is keyword optimized to your applying position.

Given that a recruiter spends only 7.4 seconds reviewing most resumes, within those 7 seconds, you need to display the most relevance and correlation to the open position as possible — thereby signaling to the recruiter that you’re resume is worth either a second look or a more detailed reading.

In order to do that you’ll want to make sure you identify the key words or phrases that are important within this prospective job posting and ensure that they are consistently reflected in your relevant work history and skills summary.

You can often see important subjects and concepts repeated multiple times within a job description — those are the ones you’ll want to identify and align to.

Job posting Image with highlighted words
This posting for a VP of Creative Marketing repeats the word “brand” 9 times.

Just make sure when you apply this step you’re not keyword stuffing — which basically means you want to make sure the use of the keywords are fitting and in context with your narrative, as opposed to just forcefully including them as many times as possible, particularly in places where it doesn’t quite make sense.

2. Enhance Your Linkedin Profile

According to the 2020 Jobvite Recruiter Nation survey, 72% of recruiters use or plan to use Linkedin within their recruiting process — which means almost 3 out of every 4 recruiters will look at your Linkedin profile.

This means that, in addition to the 7.4 second review of your resume, your Linkedin profile is another quick opportunity to convince the recruiter that your background is right to move onto the next step.

So the first thing you should do is, make sure you achieve all star status in your profile strength meter.

Screenshot of Linkedin All Star status
All-star status is important on Linkedin.

The Linkedin profile strength meter is Linkedin’s barometer for how complete and robust your profile is. The more complete it is, the more professional and attractive it looks to recruiters.

In fact, Linkedin states that “Users with complete profiles are 40 times more likely to receive opportunities through LinkedIn.”

To reach this status on your Linkedin profile, you generally have to complete these 7 steps:

a) Have a Profile Photo
b) Fill out your Industry and location sections
c) Have your summary section populated
d) Complete your Education history
e) Fill in at least 3 past positions, including your current position.
f) Fill in at least 5 skills in the skills section
g) Have at least 50 connections

It also helps to write out any awards or accolades you might have received, as well as collecting recommendations from your coworkers or past managers.

3. Network, Network, Network!

Now that your Linkedin profile is complete, the next thing that can greatly increase your job searching prospects is to network.

The first step in doing this is to reach out to those former colleagues or bosses that you trust and let them know you’re actively seeking a new job.

According to this article from SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management, approximately 30% of all hires in the US are done through referrals.

And this makes sense because as you are activating your network to help you look for a new role, you’re also indirectly tapping into their network as well — and if they know someone that has an open position that might fit your background, they may be likely to refer you.

In addition, networking gives you a great opportunity to set the foundation for references — if they are requested from a potential employer in the future.

Man talking on phone
Credit: Storyblocks

Another way to network is to be active on Linkedin.

And this can mean joining different communities or interest groups, engaging and participating in different articles, posts or publications on Linkedin and also following your favorite companies or causes on the platform.

4. Up Your Video Interviewing Skills

Now, the first 3 tips above, were intended to help you get your foot in the door, to secure your entry into the interview step. But these next 2, are designed to help enhance your performance through the interview loops to give you a better chance of landing that final spot within the selection process.

The first of these, is to up your virtual interview game.

Man on video conference
Credit: Storyblocks

As I mentioned earlier on, given the times that we’re in, applying, interviewing and getting hired virtually, is becoming more and more the norm.

In fact, if we go back to the 2020 Jobvite Recruiter Nation survey, it was recorded that half of surveyed recruiters conduct 50% or more of their interviews via video now and 40% of recruiters believe virtual interviews will be the default moving forward.

What that means, is nowadays, where in your home you have your video interviews, as well as how you sound and many other video/audio aspects of this process are becoming more and more important.

To this point, a little while back, I published this article on the Top 6 Video Interview Tips.

Daniel in youtube studio
Lighting and sound are now even more important in virtual interviews.

This segment goes over all of the things you need to know here — from camera angles to lighting to sound, so that you can show case your very best when it comes to virtual interviews.

Make sure you check it out — the information is definitely worth the read.

6. Maintain Your Confidence

And lastly, make sure you maintain your confidence & perseverance — in every aspect of this job search process.

Whether you are currently unemployed because of the pandemic or you’re just stuck in a job you hate — no matter what your situation is — just remember that you have the power to change your circumstances — but that change might take some time and a bit of sweat equity on your part.

Lady laid off sitting on steps
Credit: Storyblocks

On average it takes about 3–4 months for a person to find a job. And that number gets higher depending on economic conditions, location factors, the experience or seniority of the position — as well as flexibility in both the hiring manager and the accepting candidate for a role.

All that’s to say that — you’ll likely apply to countless numbers of jobs, go on multiple virtual interviews only to find out that you’ve gotten close… but was ultimately not selected for the position.

And this could go on for a while — but the longer it goes, the more important it is NOT to lose your confidence or your perseverance.

Take note, that just because it didn’t work out this one particular time, it doesn’t mean you weren’t good enough or smart enough or skilled enough for that part.

Given the state of the economy during this pandemic, and the fact that many companies have laid off so many skilled and experienced employees in 2020 — it means that the likelihood of being fully qualified for the jobs you interviewed for and still not being chosen for the part, is fairly high.

But it’s critical not to lose heart or grit as you go through this process — because that can show through in your potential future interviews, if you’re not careful.

Remember, it only has to happen once — and it will, if you can keep your head up and stick with it.

So, those are my 5 keys to finding a job in this new year.

I hope you found them useful and again, make sure you check out the Top 6 Video Interview Tips article that I wrote, a little while back.

So with that — I hope you guys have an awesome 2021, I hope you land that next amazing step in your careers and I wish us all the best in leaving behind this past year, and moving forward to bigger and better things.


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**** Disclaimer *****

The content here is strictly the opinion of Daniel’s Brew and is for entertainment purposes only. It should not be considered professional financial, investment, or career advice. Investing and career decisions are personal choices that each individual must make for themselves in accordance with their situation and long term plans. Daniel’s Brew will not be held liable for any outcome as a result of anyone following the opinions provided in this content.

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