Approximately 47% of workers are not engaged at work, according to a Gallup poll conducted June 29-July 12, 2020. These workers are “psychologically unattached to their work and company” and “on the lookout for better opportunities.” In other words, it’s safe to say, that these workers are not in their dream job.
If you count yourself as one of the disengaged, it’s time to wake up. You’ve made it to 2021. Now, it’s time to make a change — stop settling and reach for the sky — land your dream job.
But we’re still in the midst of the pandemic, which means getting to your goal might be a bit more challenging. To help, here are eight helpful tips to help you lock down the job of your dreams in 2021.
Last updated: Jan. 19, 2021
Research Job Descriptions for Your Dream Position
Find a few job descriptions for the job you’d love to have. Go through each one and highlight the important information, such as required skills, education, job duties, personality traits and experience. Use the information to tweak your resume for each employer you contact.
And don’t forget to customize your cover letter, too. Thoughtfully written cover letters are now more important than ever, according to a survey conducted Aug. 26-Sept. 4, 2020, by TopResume. According to survey data, when provided the statement, “I’m now more likely to read cover letters than before the pandemic,” 48% of recruiters agreed.
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Don't Let a Lack of Experience Stop You
When updating or creating your resume, consider all of your work experience and make a list of your hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills are skills gained through education or training, such as foreign language skills, programming skills, marketing skills or statistical skills. Soft skills are your habits or traits, including integrity, dependability, empathy and adaptability.
According to the TopResume survey, these are the top five skill areas that have become more in-demand since the pandemic began, according to hiring professionals:
Adaptability and flexibility
Critical thinking and problem solving
Collaboration and teamwork
Read More: What It’s Like To Job Hunt During a Pandemic
Create or Update Your LinkedIn Profile
LinkedIn is a hotspot for job seekers and hiring managers alike. According to the 2020 Job Seeker Nation Survey from Jobvite, job seekers’ use of social media, like LinkedIn, is on the rise: 42% of respondents said they use it to find job openings, a 10% increase from last year. So, if you don’t already have a LinkedIn profile, it’s time to get one. And if you do have one, you may need to update it.
Be Willing To Invest In Additional Experience or Knowledge
Sometimes, combing through job ads, tailoring your resume and updating your LinkedIn profile just isn’t enough. If so, you need to be willing to gain additional knowledge or experience to make you the undeniable candidate for your dream job. For example, if your dream is to work as a travel photographer, seek out travel photography internships (which may not be available right now) or take a highly-rated travel photography class to gain an edge on the competition.
Network in the Industry You Want To Work In
Developing a strong network in the industry you want to work in is one of the keys to landing your dream job. First, identify people in the industry who you want to connect with. Then, see if anyone you already know — friends or colleagues you have in common — would be willing to make an introduction.
Or if you don’t have any connections, reach out yourself. Because we’re in the midst of a pandemic, you can’t expect to network in person. Instead, contact each person via LinkedIn or other platforms the person may use professionally. In your initial message, compliment the person on a recent achievement, explain a bit about your goals and then request a 15-minute online introductory meeting. Repeat.
Spend Extra Time Prepping For Virtual Interviews
Interviewing during a pandemic likely means you’ll be meeting over Zoom or, at the very least, wearing a mask during your interview. Unfortunately, either situation can easily become awkward and cause you to fumble.
Sit in front of a mirror with and without a mask and do a mock interview with yourself. Or ask a friend or family member to practice with you via video chat. Note your expressions and adjust your body language as needed to convey your professionalism and enthusiasm, which is more difficult to pull off online or through a mask.
If you’re interviewing with a mask, make sure to speak clearly and pause purposefully. Also, with or without a mask, take note of your posture and eye contact.
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Write a Thank-You Note
Not only are recruiters paying more attention to cover letters, they are also placing value on thank-you notes following an interview, according to the TopResume survey. When provided with the statement, “A candidate’s thank-you email/note (or lack thereof) takes on greater importance when evaluating a candidate,” 68% of hiring managers agreed.
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Even in the best of times landing a job isn’t always easy — let alone landing your dream job during a pandemic. And you won’t be the only one struggling. Make an effort to be understanding to others. Recruiters and interviewers may have to delay action on setting up and executing interviews due to illness, hiring freezes or other pandemic-related concerns. But if you’re gracious and understanding, those who count will likely remember when hiring resumes.
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