By Lizzy Solovey
The sun’s out and it’s the season for hope and new beginnings. While it’s true that companies are still facing challenges, many businesses are planning to reopen, hiring freezes have stopped, and more opportunities for remote work have become available. The White House itself has proclaimed, “this is the moment to reimagine and rebuild a new economy.”
In fact, February showed the strongest job gains since October with employers adding 379,000 jobs to the market , many in the leisure and hospitality industries. In addition, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports some of the fastest growing career fields of 2021 include nurse practitioners, statisticians, personal care aides, information security analysts, speech-language pathologists, substance abuse counselors, and animal caretakers. Plus, Forbes reports that remote work is here to stay, estimating “70% of the workforce will be working remotely at least five days a month” within the next four years. While it’s true that many large tech companies are paving the way for this trend, Business Insider reveals two-thirds of companies plan to continue working remotely.
So, how do you stay on top of your goals and how do you stay competitive in your career as the job market opens?
- Do Your Research. As jobs, titles, and trends shift, be sure to stay updated on the latest information about the job market. Take note of the hiring and growth rates in key industries, make a list of similar job titles you can search open positions for, and ensure you have the most relevant skills and education possible to stand out among the competition.
- Transfer Your Skills. If you’re ready for a career change, explore how your existing skill set and experiences can transfer over to another role. LinkedIn’s Career Exploration tool offers a useful starting point, as it explains what applicable skills you can list on your resume and what jobs are available to you.
- Keep Learning. With so many new opportunities for online education and certification, stay ahead of the curve by polishing your skills or learning new ones. Taking classes is a good way to fill gaps on your resume or simply grow your career. Some sites, like Coursera, offer classes with a free trial period and the classes they offer, such as Google Professional Certificates, have been shown to effectively get participants new jobs and promotions.
- Develop Your Personal Brand. Just like we enjoy buying products from companies we know and trust, employers like to hire people they can depend on. To show hiring managers that they can believe in you and that they should invest in you, it’s worthwhile to take time to develop your personal brand. Some questions to consider are how you make those around you feel, what makes you more unique than your competitors, and what value you bring to an organization.
- Hire a Certified Resume Writer or Career Coach. Sometimes, especially if you’ve been working for a while to achieve your dreams and have found little success, it may be the right choice to invest in personalized support. A certified resume writer will ensure that your resume contains excellent content, looks fabulous, and is never overlooked by tricky ATS systems. (Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) are tools hiring managers use to filter job search engines for qualified candidates.) A career coach will help you get organized, practice interviewing, network better, and stay motivated no matter what comes your way.
While the world of work may be in transition, the good news is that you can transition with it. For more on everything career-related, check out the Ignite Career Center, which offers guidance, resources, and many services to help you in every element of your job search.
Lizzy Solovey is a Career Coach and Certified Advanced Resume Writer (CARW) at the Ignite Career Center of JCS.
Whether you are new to the job market or a seasoned professional, the Ignite Career Center, a program of Jewish Community Services, can help you go further and get there faster. Our highly experienced Career Coaches provide individuals of all backgrounds and abilities with the customized services and tools they need to stand out from the competition. To learn more, visit ignitecareercenter.com or call 410-466-9200.