Although we’re well into 2021, the effects of the pandemic that wreaked havoc the world over last year continue to reverberate. And since the aftermath of this disease touched every aspect of life, including our approach to work, setting the stage for the “new normal”, it is not surprising that the job market has also changed. With certain aspects of the traditional work set-up having been all but paralyzed, opening up a world of remote working and virtual collaboration, it is fair to say that the goal post has shifted for both employers and job seekers.
If you fall in the latter category, reassessing your approach to the job hunt has never been as important as it is now. Unfortunately, in this new economic landscape where job openings are at an all-time low and the competition more cut-throat, your tried-and-tested methods may not be enough to land you the job you want; only having an updated resume or LinkedIn profile just won’t cut it. And with millions of people now out of work, chances are that you’re contending for those limited opportunities with thousands of other hopefuls. This is why a more proactive approach to the job market is imperative.
However, the situation is not hopeless. If you approach the job market with a fresh outlook you’re likely to succeed. In this blog, we’ve rounded up 3 tips for you that we think will help you land that job you want even as the pandemic rages on.
1. Become a freelancer
“The world is going freelance” is a phrase that you’ve heard (and probably ignored) before and we don’t blame you. For the longest time, the gig industry got a bad rap for being less than ideal for employers and freelancers alike. But with the emergence of reputable platforms like Ureed.com, freelancing has become a reliable (and in some cases the sole) source of opportunities for thousands of people.
In fact, even before the outbreak of COVID-19, more and more employers and employees were gravitating towards the freelancing work model. But now since the pandemic has fuelled remote work, which is highly compatible with the freelance set-up, the patronage of online marketplaces has increased.
Because of the economic repercussions that the pandemic has on most (if not all) sectors, most employers have had to let a sizable amount of their staff go in a bid to slim down expenses.
Freelancing has thrived in the pandemic
According to the BBC, by the end of 2020, over 2.2 million people in the U.K had lost their jobs. But unless the business went under, those tasks that were left behind by the downsized employees still need people to handle them. This is why the surge of freelancing has been almost meteoric in the past few months. For instance, in the tech industry, where some experts had heralded the death of outsourcing in favour of in-house teams, Forbes reports that there has been a surge in demand for independent contractors.
So if you’re currently unemployed or you’re making a transition, freelancing is the way to go. We’ve already established that the freelance market is booming but aside from that, it comes with many other benefits. As you wait to land a permanent job, it can be a good way to use your skills without making any long term commitments.
In addition, you get responses faster on your applications since there are no middle men- just you and your potential client, you can negotiate your pay for every job that you do (unlike traditional employment), you have unlimited options (on Ureed.com you can get hired no matter your geographical location), among many other benefits. Freelancing will also help you build an impressive portfolio, so you can impress your future employers. And if all goes well, you can ditch your search for a permanent job and become a full-time freelancer.
2. Acquire new skills
The job market is evolving and so should you. This is what is known as career durability; keeping up with developments in your industry so that your expertise doesn’t become obsolete. With so many online sources offering free and paid courses, using your time in between jobs to acquire and hone new skills is a productive way to pass the time.
The legitimacy of online education has taken root so much so that it is reported that 95% of recruiters actively seek out candidates with micro credentials. Plus, it makes your resume look good! Employers are impressed by applicants who show initiative, going beyond their way to learn new skills, which may improve their efficiency and bring different solutions to the table.
Here are some sources you can find courses to spruce up your resume:
Don’t forget your soft skills. In this age of remote work, polishing up on your listening and collaboration skills will go a long way in making you an attractive applicant.
3. Be a proactive job seeker
Stepping out of your comfort zone in your pursuit for your dream job is crucial if you hope to get hired. Do your due diligence as you’re applying to jobs. Find out as much as you can about the company, the role you’ll play and how that fits into their overall goals. This way, your application will be more in tune with what the employers are looking for.
After submitting your application, do some follow up. Use your social media platforms to connect with people employed at the company and see if they can help get your resume noticed. Don’t be shy to reach out to a hiring manager or HR rep to let them know you’ve applied for an opening. This shows that you are very interested in getting hired and in case it doesn’t work out, the hirer will not forget about you if you apply for another opening.
Posting your work on various platforms is also another way to grow your network and get noticed. It isn’t uncommon for people to get employed from their Twitter or Instagram, so be sure what you post there paints you in a positive light.
If you’re working as a freelancer, linking your freelance profile on your social media will also attract more visitors to your page and make you more attractive to employers.
Even though the pandemic has made the job search harder than it was before, the situation is not hopeless. The tips listed in this blog act as a roadmap for the hopeful jobseeker, showing them how they can navigate the changing job market to land the opportunities they’ve been eyeing.
Stay in charge while enjoying a more flexible freelance career – join Ureed.com now and start connecting with top employers from the GCC and beyond.