5 Critical Ways the Job Search Has Changed So Far in 2021

5 Critical Ways the Job Search Has Changed So Far in 2021

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Debra Wheatman150
Branding Expert ★ Career Strategist
April 13, 2024 at 5:35PM UTC

The global pandemic has upended people’s lives and caused all of us to rethink how we work. People are no longer okay to merely follow corporate directives in ways that don’t align with personal or professional goals. In fact, people are saying no. No to returning to full-time office work; no to ridiculous expectations; no to the “managers” who belittle and micromanage; and no to companies that don’t align with the values that job seekers have come to expect—and demand.

The job search has changed, and it’s never going to be the same again. Here are five changes that have taken place never to return to the “before times.”

1. Remote Work is here to stay.

It probably goes without saying that remote work before the pandemic was a luxury. Now, remote work is part of the working paradigm and is here to stay. For more than 18 months, most people have been working from home. And lots of people love it. No more commuting to an office, sitting in traffic or stuffing themselves into a crowded train. People are relieved with the knowledge that they can do their job in the comfort of their own homes. What’s more, they are happier and more productive. Dinner with the family is no longer a “wish to have” but a reality. It’s here to stay and job seekers who want to work remotely should and will have options.

2. Make sure to cover it in your cover letter.

There are many schools of thought on cover letters. For me, I have always read them and made some fantastic hires as a result. I know people who never read them. Research suggests that recruiters and hiring managers are not skipping the cover letter. Applying without one will significantly reduce your chances of getting an interview. A well-written cover letter lets you stand out and, most importantly, tell your STORY. They are influential and will allow you to showcase your personality and achievements to support your application and demonstrate why you are a good fit for the role. Don’t skip out on this.

3. Video interviews are much more commonplace.

We all know technology is ubiquitous. Its use is being applied everywhere, including during the interview process. Hiring didn’t stop during the pandemic (although it barely crawled for a time) and as a result, the video interview is here to stay. According to Spark Hire, 53% of hiring managers in 2021 use video interviews, a 52% jump from 2020. 

The benefits of video interviews impact both parties. It’s simple and saves a lot of time. However, you might find it a bit nerve-wracking at first. A little practice goes a long way. Some tips for conducting a positive video interview include positioning yourself in a well-lit, quiet space where you can focus your attention on the interview. The same rules of engagement apply. Look at the camera to ensure you look at the interviewer. Then, smile and have a conversation! If you put in a bit of practice, I can assure you—you will do well.

4. Employers are encouraging creative expression.

I hear from my clients that potential employers are looking to learn about people in different ways. Enter the video interview where you are asked to create a two-minute movie of yourself demonstrating your passion for a company, its product, or simply discussing why you are the right candidate. Creative expression is a good thing; it allows you to share a bit about who you are as a person in a unique way. We’re all special. Leveraging the power of the record button on your phone or another device can help you take this demonstration to a new level. Initiatives like these also might require a few takes, so make sure your production is good. If you’re asked to do a video, Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine. 

5. You’ll need to send a thank you.

The all-important thank you note cannot be overstated. Take the time to write a thoughtful thank you note. A personal response will win points and leave the reader with a wonderful feeling about you. What’s better than that?

The outlook is good into the rest of 2021 and beyond. There’s always work to be done by recruiters, candidates and hiring managers to build, manage and maintain a productive and healthy workforce. Building your knowledge and staying abreast of changes in your industry will allow you to maintain a competitive advantage and grow as you embark on any job search. 

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This article was written by an FGB Contributor.

Debra Wheatman is a Certified Professional Resume Writer and Career Coach. She is also the Founder and President of Careers Done Write, which provides marketing and branding for individuals in search of their dream job. Find out more on LinkedIn or the Careers Done Write website.

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