2022 marks the third year the world has lived with Covid-19. While nearly every aspect of our daily lives has been affected, the workforce has undergone significant changes. The sudden transition to a remote work environment, the gradual return to the office with new emphasis placed on sanitization and social distancing, and the normalization of the hybrid work model were just a few of the changes workers and employers were faced with before the pandemic had even entered its second year.
Now the workforce is adjusting to the Great Resignation and trying to understand why 38 million employees quit their jobs in 2021, leaving 10.9 million U.S. jobs unfilled. However, it’s only a matter of time before a portion of these workers seeks to reenter the workforce.
Despite the glut of job openings, not every role will see the same applicant response, and those in high-demand industries will likely see the most activity. With several million people primed to start a job search, this could mean significant competition for job seekers. So what do candidates need to do to ensure they remain competitive in 2022’s job market? Here are a few essentials.
1. Consider your personality.
Your personality reveals a lot about yourself, such as what you enjoy doing, what makes you happy, and how you like to communicate — even the types of jobs you’d likely succeed in. There are a number of ways to incorporate your personality traits and characteristics in your job search.
Take one of the many online personality tests to learn more about your specific traits and discover the types of roles those traits would make you an ideal fit for. This is also helpful when thinking about the type of work environment you’d be most productive in.
Your personality helps you narrow your search in other ways, too — for example, if your results come back with details about you being shy, introspective, and reserved, research ideal jobs for introverts.
2. Think about your skills.
Your skill set is a list of your abilities — such as problem-solving, decision-making, and the ability to work under pressure. In addition to using your skillset to help you determine the type of job you’d be good at, it’s often something listed on a resume — so, listing your skills is a useful exercise for that reason as well.
Also, consider your transferable skills. These are skills that can be transferred from one role to the next, even if they aren’t in the same field. If you are switching industries or roles figuring out how your transferable skills would apply to a new position is key. Some transferable skills include:
- Project management
- Public speaking
- Relationship building
- Analytics and reporting
If you need more guidance, you can learn more about your specific skill set and how it plays a part in the type of career you’d be an ideal fit for by taking a career aptitude test.
3. Reflect on your background.
Your previous work experience and education — or your background — can also help you determine a career path you’d be suited for.
For example, I studied journalism in college and worked at a local news station after graduation. However, after a year, I decided I wanted to leave the industry. My background — which was writing and content-focused — made me an ideal candidate for a position on the HubSpot Blog.
If your background doesn’t align with your newfound career interests, that’s OK, too! However, this may require a little more research on your end about how you can transition to a new career. You may need to go back to school for a master’s degree, get a certification of some kind, or work in an entry-level position in your new field of interest.
4. Brainstorm your career goals.
Brainstorm your personal and career goals to help you determine the ideal next step for you. Think about things like work-life balance, salary, and your goals for the next 5-10 years. This will help you narrow down your search — different industries and positions have a range of standards when it comes to factors like flexibility, culture, and career growth.
5. Create a list of your dream companies.
Whether or not you’re sure about a specific opportunity, create a list of your dream companies you think you’d enjoy working for. This is a great way to keep track of opportunities at the companies you’re most interested in and remain goal-oriented.
You can then tailor your cover letter as well as career highlights and skillset on your resume to fit the requirements and expectations of specific opportunities at your top-choice companies.
6. Consider companies similar to your dream companies.
Consider companies comparable to those on your list of top picks, too. For example, if your goal is to work in marketing at Nike, consider applying for a similar position at a newer, growing company in the same industry like NOBULL.
By being open-minded and realistic about how you’re going to reach your end goal (such as working at Nike), you’ll avoid locking yourself into one, narrow career path option all while gaining valuable experience along the way.
7. Network professionally.
Whether you’re looking to stay in your current industry or pave a completely new path in another, professional networking is critical. These days, many of the offers job seekers receive are a result of networking.
Networking can help you get your foot in the door at a company of interest, gain a new and valuable reference in the industry, and determine whether or not you really want to move into a specific role.
8. Clean up your social media accounts.
Today, recruiters, hiring teams, and department leaders at virtually every company will take the time to research candidates online, including on social media platforms, prior to determining whether or not they want to request an interview.
This means you’ll want to ensure your social media accounts are private or remove pictures, videos, and/or comments that may lead a hiring manager to believe you aren’t a good fit for outreach. After all, the last thing you’d want is for the hiring manager at your dream company to disregard your experience due to something they find on your Instagram or Facebook profile.
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