The Job Seekers Playbook

The Job Seeker’s Playbook: Resources and Tips to Get You Started In Your New Career

Job hunting in 2021 isn’t like previous years. To land your next job, you’ve got to work harder and smarter, and also respond to the ever-changing demands of employers because many jobs have gone remote (and so have the interviews).

What does it take to land a job nowadays, exactly?

Whether you’re a new college graduate trying to get your career started, or a professional in your field who wants to be promoted or move to a new role, there are a few ways to get started. Optimizing your professional presence to increase your visibility to recruiters is one way; understanding which of your skills need to go on your resume(s) versus those you should probably remove is another. A third, maybe most-challenging step to take in any job search, is prepping yourself for the hardest questions an interviewer could ask. 

Below you’ll find tons of free resources and tips that will help on every step of your own 2021 job search.

Get Some Help for Your Job Search

A good resume goes a long way. Your resume is used to make a great first impression on a prospective employer. It’s also often the key that unlocks invitations to be interviewed for a new job and provides a perfect set of talking points for when you meet a hiring manager face-to-face.

Craft an effective resume

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Almost all jobs require a resume. You need it to get your foot in the door, make a great first impression, and to express your experience in ways unique to you. Your resume is one of the most important documents you’ll need at every step of your career.

Read more: 5 Things To Put On Your Resume, No Matter the Job

Watch workshop videos w/ expert career coaches

Get FREE tips and strategies for perfecting your resume and making a maximum impact in your next job interview, straight from professional college and career coaches on Wyzant. Each video below was filmed live in March 2021 with an audience of attendees.

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WATCH: Post-College Resume Building Workshop W/ “The College Guy”, Nick S.

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WATCH: Resume Building Workshop W/ Career Coach Sophia M.

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WATCH: Job Interview Skills Workshop W/ Professional Development Coach Mark M.

Learn techniques for a perfect job interview

Job interviews are your chance to really go for broke and sell your skills and experience. They also give you a chance to find out if a job, company, or even boss are the right fit for you. Follow these career coach-sourced tips to make the best impression possible.

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Interviewing for a new job doesn’t come naturally to most people. Even professionals well into their careers still get a case of the butterflies when it comes to job interviews. The good news is that it’s is a skill that can be learned and improved on with time and practice.

Read more: A Whole Different Chat: Best Practices For Job Interviews In 2021

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Though many professionals work on upskilling with “career coaches” and other kinds of mentors, a tutor isn’t always at the front of everyone’s mind. Learning with someone who does the work you want to do is an oft-overlooked option for brushing up your job skills.

Read more: Brushing Up On Your Skills Before A Job Interview? 5 Ways A Tutor Can Help

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We may not be commute by flying car, jetpack, or teleporter (yet), but technology has made big changes to how we work over the past 10 years. Even if your last job search isn’t a decade behind you, it’s still useful to review your skills.

Read more: 9 Career Skills You Didn’t Need 10 Years Ago That Are Essential Today

Read career advice straight from real professionals

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Want to sharpen your abilities so you can stand out at your current job? Take the advice of seasoned professionals who have each make big strides in their own careers in the last two years. We chatted with five people who told us how they did it, and the tips they recommend others follow when seeking a big promotion.

Read more: How I Got A Promotion: 5 Professionals Share Their Career Building Advice

Start Upskilling

When it comes to future-proofing your job, upskilling is the ticket to success. Upskilling is the process of learning new and relevant abilities needed in your job today and in the near future.

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Upskilling is a process of professional learning that focuses on developing new abilities and minimizing skill gaps. Consider it your ticket to conquering bigger problems within your organization.

Read more: How To Upskill (Correctly)

Common examples of upskilling include learning to code, honing digital skills like Microsoft Excel or Adobe Illustrator, analytics skills, and even organizational or managerial skills. As technology creates new opportunities and roles within the workforce, it’s also creating a need for companies to fill those roles with candidates who possess specialized skill sets.

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When you start learning something new, especially for your job, it’s tempting to take the easy route and search for quick how-to’s online or Google the correct solutions. However, that’s not always the best approach to cultivate meaningful understanding. Sure, you may finish a task, but could you do it again with no assistance in the future?

Learning happens in all sorts of ways, and the examples above certainly have their place, but for skill acquisition and upskilling there’s nothing quite as powerful as challenging yourself to figure out problem on your own.

Read more: The Value of Figuring Things Out

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Software developers are in high demand, and they tend to be paid well. In the US, the median salary is $107,000, and it’s expected to grow by 20%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For many job seekers, adding coding to their resume means opening doors into new career paths.

Read more: How To Upskill Into A Career In Coding

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If you’re adding coding to your skillset, independent projects are a great way to both gain realistic programming experience and cement the concepts you’re learning. This makes them a good fit if you want to jumpstart your learning and add valuable experience to your resume.

Read more: Beyond Bootcamps: 4 Independent Coding Project Ideas

Graduating College This Year?

There are similarities between plans employers have for 2021 and those they had for previous years, according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers. This year, 16.5% of companies who responded to a recent survey are planning to increase their hires, nearly identical to the 16.9% of companies that had these plans for 2009-10.

However, graduating college and starting your career in the midst of a pandemic and a shaken-up economy means adapting to the latest demands that those issues have brought on.

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Thousands of college grads will face brand-new challenges in the job market. Thanks to the pandemic, this year’s graduates must gear up for a journey (and an economy) that may be more challenging than those before them.

Read more: The Unique Realities of Graduating College in 2021

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For college grads, 2021 presents a set of never-before-seen challenges and opportunities. 

We asked pro tutors on Wyzant for their advice to help you get centered, get motivated, or maybe even get a mentor, once (virtual) commencement is done and it’s time to get started on your job search. 

Read more: 23 Pro Tutors Answer The Question, “What’s Your Advice to College Grads Entering Their Careers in 2021?”

Supercharge Your Job Search By Partnering With A Tutor

Besides having the help of an professional, anyone hoping to upskill or climb the career ladder can benefit from having an external perspective. Plus, it’s less stressful to have someone working with you on what can be a long, lonely process of reading job postings, polishing resumes and cover letters, filling out applications, and preparing to be interviewed.

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Tutors with experience in your industry can help you get a clear sense of both the job market and the actual job, helping you plan out parts of your prep or even an entire career shift.

Read more: How Hiring A Tutor Helps You Make More Money In Your Career

What’s Your Next Step?

The rules have changed: global issues, shifting demands, and tech advances are reshaping the modern workplace. Not all employees are ready for the future. That’s where career development and upskilling come in.

Employers nowadays are looking for potential employees who have solid technical skills and are ready and willing to adapt. Soft skills like creativity, adaptability, problem-solving, and critical thinking are also more important than ever. Work with a career development professional to gain the skills you need to succeed, and remember: learning never stops!

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