How to Look for Jobs in 2021

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Caitlin Proctor, CPRW

8 min read

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Whether you’re hunting for your first job or your tenth, it’s vital to know how to find jobs in the most efficient manner possible. The good news is that modern communications technology provides more job hunting options than previous generations could have ever imagined possible. The bad news is that some are far more effective than others.

To ensure your job search success, you need to know how to look for jobs in 2021. Here are the 6 best ways to find that job you need, followed by 7 places you might not be looking yet.

How to find a job in 2021

1. Check online job boards

If you’re like many of today’s job seekers, you might think that the internet is the best way to get a new job. Many of today’s job seekers spend hours each day searching the most popular online job boards and posting your resume everywhere you can.

You might be surprised to learn, however, that this is far from the most effective way to locate a new job.

Why? According to some estimates, only about 4% of job seekers find employment through the internet alone. If you choose this option, be sure to bolster your online search with some other job search methods such as the remaining 6 on this list.

However, it is good to look at job boards for these reasons:

  • Research what employers are posting new jobs

  • Gain insight into what skills employers want to skill for people in your industry

  • Learn what kind of experience hiring managers want to see for candidates with your job title

  • Identify any gaps in your qualifications or education to remain a competitive applicant

  • Research demand for people with your skill set

2. Use LinkedIn to network

LinkedIn is one of the best ways to network and land a job today. Over 90% of hiring managers and recruiters were using LinkedIn to search for and vet candidates before 2020; now, amidst a pandemic, LinkedIn is the largest congregation of people talking about jobs and opportunities.

Here are some basic tips for using LinkedIn to network:

  • Have a professional image

  • Have a good amount of connections (250+)

  • Ask for recommendations from people who know you well

  • Have a solid

     

Make sure you stay active on LinkedIn. Keep your profile up-to-date with your work experience and skills. Reach out to colleagues and friends who may be able to refer you to open positions. Remember that the grass is greener where you water it.

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3. Contact hiring managers directly

Reaching out directly to a hiring manager at a company you want to work for is a good strategy for two reasons:

  1. Companies spend a ton of money on recruiting fees which they could save if they were to hire you directly. This could give you a leg up on other candidates.

  2. It shows the hiring manager that you have a genuine interest in working for the company which is always a plus.

Related read: How to Find and Message Recruiters on LinkedIn (Templates + Tips)

4. Respond to ads

You already know that ads can be a great way to find out who’s hiring in your area or elsewhere in the country. Employers may advertise new jobs online, in shop windows, or in print publications.

The good news is that this can be a great way to find low to moderate-income positions. In fact, nearly a quarter of people who use this method for those lower-paying jobs successfully find employment. Don’t rely on this option if you’re seeking a higher-income position, however.

In 2021, the same practice is being put to use on local job boards and sites like Craigslist or Nextdoor. Look for job search sites in your area for virtual “help wanted” signs.

5. Seek out government offices for help

Government job placement offices are another option when you’re trying to find a job. There are government employment offices that can provide you with assistance. Many offer training programs to teach you how to find jobs, and staff can often provide you with hot leads on job openings. If you’re struggling to come up with the leads you need, this is an option that may work for you.

6.  Ask for referrals

By now, you should have some semblance of a network in place. You can use that network of friends, family members, former co-workers, educators, and LinkedIn contacts to generate job leads. According to some estimates, about one-third of serious referrals can result in job placement. You just need to maintain contact with your network and continue to ask about potential job openings.

We have ready-to-use templates you can use here: How To Ask for A Job Referral

How to Look for Jobs in 2017 The 7 Best Options 2

The best places to look for jobs in 2020

In addition to knowing how to look for jobs, it can be helpful to know where to find jobs in 2020. We’ve compiled a brief list of the top information sources you should be using to identify available jobs in your area:

1. Classified ads

Classified ads can still be a great way to find out about job openings. That includes ads in your local paper, of course … but you’ll likely find even more opportunities online on sites like Craigslist. In fact, many small companies rely on affordable, online job postings to locate new hires these days, rather than the traditional newspaper “help wanted” ads of yesteryear.

Many of the best opportunities will be in a local publication of some kind. Look for job search resources in your city–you might be surprised at the jobs that aren’t posted anywhere else!

2. Job boards

There are several job boards online. Your success in finding a potential opening will depend on your profession, of course. Here are some examples of industry-specific job search sites we’ve researched for you:

3. Google

Is there anything Google doesn’t do these days? Yes, you can use Google to find job openings in your area. You can also use it to research those firms and learn more about them to help you tailor your resume to meet their needs.

4. Social media

Whether it’s LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, today’s social media can be a great way to learn about job openings. Your LinkedIn network should provide you with plenty of insight into companies that might be hiring. LinkedIn also has groups, advanced search filters, and job postings that you can use to your advantage.

Meanwhile, you can often locate choice job postings on those other social media sites as well. There are many Facebook groups based on location or industry which you should check out. Twitter is a great place to connect with people in your industry or employees at your target companies.

5. Company websites

Speaking of target companies, you should keep tabs on the job pages for a select group of your ideal employers. If you’ve ever searched through a company’s website, chances are that you noticed that many post open positions online. Many companies have started to rely on these postings, as they provide a way to help screen potential applicants. If there’s a company that you really want to join, the website can be an ideal place to start that process.

6. Job aggregators

Indeed and other job aggregators collect job postings from a variety of different sites on the internet. You can use these aggregators to learn about jobs in your area, and follow posting links to start the application process.

You should know that this is what millions of other people are doing as well. To really stand out, you need to support your job aggregator efforts with networking, cold outreach, and making connections with people.

7. Your network

You can use your network to keep abreast of job openings in your industry. However, you’ll be missing out if you don’t also use it to help you obtain a job. You can dramatically increase your chances of getting hired if you can tell a potential employer that you were referred by one of their employees. Those chances get even better if that employee has recommended you for the job.

Summary

The job market is more competitive than ever before, but you can still find a great job if you know what you’re doing. By learning how to look for a job, and identifying the best places to find the job you need, you’ll dramatically improve your job-seeking success. Until then, keep using these techniques to look for jobs and find out about new opportunities.

Of course, once you’ve found a job to apply to, you need a resume that will wow the employer. ZIpjob’s team of professional resume writers are here to help! We have more than 100 writers ready to help you uncover your professional strengths and skills. Look at our three resume services.

Not ready to commit? Start with our free resume review tool to see how your resume looks to an expert and an ATS scan. Learn more here:

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Written by

Caitlin Proctor, CPRW, Certified Professional Résumé Writer

Caitlin joined the ZipJob team in 2019 as a professional resume writer and career advisor. She specializes in strategic advice for executives, career pivots, and remote workers. Read more resume advice from Caitlin on ZipJob’s blog.

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