News & Events

Ways Job Searching Will Be Different in 2021 (and How You Can Adapt): Part 3 


Employment & Learning

By Robert Francos.

Hiring teams are increasingly turning to automated systems to help them manage the influx of applications. That means more Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) and chatbots to answer application FAQs, ask basic screening questions, or even schedule interviews.

Some of these new technologies also scan cover letters and even chat conversations for relevant keywords and use them to determine whether or not a candidate might be a fit for the job to which they’ve applied. Which means tailoring your job search materials for the jobs you’re targeting will be more important than ever.

How to Adapt

·         Tailor your resume. The whole point of a resume is to get a recruiter or hiring manager interested enough that they take the next step and schedule an initial phone screen with you. The easiest way to do that is to use your resume to spell out why you’re a great fit for the role to which you’ve applied. That’s why it’s so crucial to tailor your resume for a specific job and make sure it’s also ATS-friendly.

·         Use automation to your advantage. When you run into a pre-recorded interview scenario, chances are, the Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to ask common initial interview questions like, “Tell me about yourself,” “How did you hear about this opportunity?” or “Why would you be a good fit for this position?”  You can prep for these kinds of questions in advance.

·         Don’t forget to add a human touch. “Always supplement applications with follow-up,” Parikh says.  She recommends reaching out to the hiring manager or people who work at the company you’ve applied to whenever possible.

There Will Be More Competition Overall

With unemployment and remote work on the rise, the once shallow applicant pool has now deepened. This means more people are now applying for any given job posting. That can make it harder for you to stand out from the crowd.

How to Adapt:

·         Polish your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile. Actually, don’t just polish them. Make sure they shine. In a competitive job market, investing time in perfecting your resume, cover letter, and LinkedIn profile will be more important than ever. You should also make sure your social media accounts are job-search friendly and update your portfolio or personal website (if you don’t have any, consider making one!).

·         Be strategic. “Don’t send your resume out everywhere,” Bavol says. “Laser in on the right job postings for you and then fine-tune your resume for that specific posting.” It’s better to submit a few thoughtfully tailored, high-quality applications than to apply for every job in sight.

·         Think about creative ways to stand out. “If you’re looking to enhance your skills or build up your resume, consider taking on freelance work or a pro-bono project if you can afford to do it. Employers appreciate candidates who go the extra mile to stay sharp and keep up with the industry,” Parikh says.

·         Embrace upskilling. “We’re in an upskill world,” Bavol says. “Ensure that you’re staying a step ahead of the trends and that your skills don’t become obsolete as things continue to change.” There are places that offer free or affordable online classes for job seekers looking to brush up or add new skills to their resumes, such as the YWCA Saskatoon Employment and Learning Centre.

·         Be patient and flexible. “Job seekers should go into the 2021 job market with an open mind,” Beasley says. “They need to be flexible and ensure their resume and ‘candidate brand’ reflect that.” This might mean you need to have multiple versions of your base resume (one for each role or industry you’re targeting) or that you take a temporary job or a freelance gig to hold you over until you find the right opportunity.

·         Practice self-care. Remember to set aside time to take care of yourself. Take time away from your search to enjoy simple things like going for a walk, baking something yummy, or catching up with a friend or family member whose calls always fill you with energy.

The past year was a year unlike any other and 2021 will probably continue to be a bit of a rollercoaster. But there is reason for hope. “We’re seeing great optimism in hiring overall,” de la Cruz says. “It’s been a rough year, but there are so many bright spots in the market and a lot to look forward to in the new year.”

 Your Employment and Learning staff are working in-person by appointment, and remotely through email, phone, and Zoom. Should you have any questions about identifying your skills, resumes, job searching, job interviews, or job searching online, feel free to contact any of your Employment and Learning staff for support.  You can reach us at:

Stay motivated; stay healthy as you achieve your employment goals.

 You can view the full original article by Jaclyn Westlake, of The Muse, at: