Most of us can agree that the COVID-19 pandemic changed us and the world around us. As loneliness spiked from social distancing measures, so too did our determination to invent new ways to connect. As millions fell ill, a renewed emphasis on health and hygiene was collectively embraced, and mental wellbeing was thankfully not left out of the equation.
A shared focus on self-care meant a reevaluation of needs and priorities, which was naturally followed by a shift in job search trends and higher employee expectations. Our study “Shift in Worker Expectations Post-Pandemic” uncovered these search trends — some of which were anticipated and others came as a surprise.
Taking these findings into consideration, we’ve prepared a guide for anyone looking for work in the post-pandemic era, highlighting all the tips that will make your job hunt a little bit easier.
Check out the infographic below for a quick rundown of our findings:
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1. Optimize your résumé for applicant tracking systems
Our study found that 1 in 2 jobseekers apply for work directly through company websites. If you do this, chances are that your résumé will be scanned by an applicant tracking system before reaching a real human being.
To make it through to the other side, incorporate exact words and phrases from the job listing into your summary statement and throughout the various sections of your résumé. Removing distinctions like PhD from your name and using clear headings for your sections, like work experience and education, is also less likely to confuse your robotic assessor.
2. Emphasize your soft skills
In light of this new emphasis on relationships and mental health, soft skills are now considered a lot more significant than before.
Skills like communication and problem solving are particularly desirable, so focus on them in your job application. This holds true whether applying for a new job in the same field or pursuing a career change — and most people seem interested in testing new waters. The data we compiled told us that 71% of jobseekers now look for a different type of work than before.
3. Practice answering pandemic-related questions
Despite many aspects of life having gone back to normal, the topic of COVID-19 continues to linger. Job interviews are no exception, so prepare for pandemic-related questions like “How did you remain motivated while working remotely?” and “What was the impact of the pandemic on your professional life?”.
While you’re at it, think about any preferences you might have developed since the start of the pandemic. Although (to our surprise) 61% of jobseekers don’t consider remote work an important factor when job hunting, hybrid work may still resonate with you. If so, make sure to communicate that to potential employers.
4. Embrace different forms of networking
While social distancing rules have been lifted, you should continue to use a mix of both online and offline networking. Maintaining a presence in online groups and attending real-life social events you find meaningful are excellent ways to meet like-minded professionals – and these connections can lead to greater things.
As two thirds of jobseekers are on the lookout for healthier work environments, it’s likely that you are, too. Just remember to be honest, listen well and be respectful of other people’s time.
5. Prepare for online interviews
Before your online interview, one of the first things you must do is ensure your computer applications, like Zoom, are up to date. The last thing you want is to launch the software minutes before your interview, only to find out that it’s unusable unless you update and restart your device.
You’ll also want to test your internet connection, microphone and camera in advance. Practice with a friend, and get their feedback on call quality.
Finding a job after the pandemic can be a challenge for anyone reevaluating their goals and needs — and that seems to be the majority of workers. Below are some key things to remember when looking for work in a post-COVID-19 world:
- If you’re considering a career change, you’re not alone. Many employees are moving in new directions, with some professions gaining popularity post-COVID-19.
- Optimizing your résumé for robot readers is essential, as more and more companies rely on ATSs for shortlisting candidates.
- Learning how to emphasize your soft skills will give you a great advantage in the post-pandemic job market.
- Though social distancing measures have been lifted, virtual interviews and networking are here to stay. In other words, make use of technology!
How do you think job hunting has changed post-pandemic? Let us know in the comments section below!