By Lindsay Marcaccio

The change, uncertainty and unpredictability of the last 16 months has created a more stressful environment for an already emotionally charged task – job searching. Whether you are a recent graduate, a mid-point role changer or a long hauler in your profession, looking for work is daunting at the best of times let alone in the middle of what seems to be a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. I hope the information below will help ease the turmoil of looking for work and help you to create a strategic job search plan. 

Stay up-to-date with current communications openings in Calgary through IABC/Calgary’s CareerLine. (Photo credit: Colourbox/Nikola Dzhi)

Remote work is here to stay

According to The Future of Work, the number of postings for remote work has increased six times over the last year. Companies recognize that remote work provides access to a bigger and more diverse applicant pool. And in the long-run, fewer employees working from an office requires a smaller office space, which means lower overhead costs. Both are beneficial for companies. 

IQ Partners Inc. Blog reports that candidates are also expecting companies to offer more flexibility with their schedules – perhaps two to three days working from the office versus the standard five. Companies might use the option of schedule flexibility to attract top candidates. 

Virtual hiring practices will become the norm

The Future of Recruiting reported 70 per cent of talent professionals feel virtual recruiting is here to stay. The same interview tips for in-person interviews apply, but there is the added consideration of technology. Test your equipment, your connection and the lighting. Set up a test run with a friend who can provide honest and constructive feedback about your on-camera skills. 

Companies are hiring for skills not degrees

If there is anything the last 18 months have shown us, it’s the need to be able to adapt and pivot. Hiring managers will be looking for transferable skills and an ability to learn, adapt and progress. According to a LinkedIn article, “a skills-based talent strategy will be the new gold standard.” No longer will degrees and years of experience be the only consideration. Tailor your resume to highlight these elements.

Consider an industry outside your norm

You may have had your career goals set in a particular industry, but keep an open mind when it comes to applying. IQ Partners Inc. suggests considering healthcare, technology, online entertainment and commerce as they are experiencing growth and hiring surges. As always, understand how your skills can be applied to a particular industry. 

Network, network, network

Even if you are applying for remote work positions and might not set foot in the head office, never underestimate the value of networking. I recently attended a webinar in which one of the panelists remarked that knowing someone is still valuable when it comes to job searching. You can still attend a conference via Zoom, or ask to meet someone for a virtual coffee to introduce yourself and get to know an industry. Today’s job searching, networking and interviewing might take a bit of an adjustment, but they aren’t impossible to do. 

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