Unexpectedly, your job search strategy or career trajectory may have felt somewhat blocked or taken a different direction over the past year. But with 2020 behind us the New Year brings the opportunity to reflect on your career and think about which direction you might want to go in the future. 2020 was an extremely challenging year, career plans may have been postponed or perhaps you took a role after redundancy to fill a gap.
Whether your goal is to make improvements to your career, upskill, continue with an existing job search or change career, here are some things you can do to make sure your career goals get off to a flying start in 2021.
Take some time to reflect and re-evaluate where you want your career to take you in 2021. What do you want to achieve in the next 12 months? What opportunities do you want to be considered for? What are your main strengths and how can you use them moving forward? Conduct a gap analysis and identify areas where you may need to upskill or develop. Use this information to map out a career plan, measure your progress and re-evaluate using SMART goals.
Dust off the old and bring in the new. With over 60% of employers expected to use Applicant Tracking Systems in 2021, you will need to ensure your CV includes key words in line with each role you apply for. Make sure your CV is up to date, keyword rich and in a Word Document. Applicant Tracking Systems do not respond well to over-formatted CVs, so to maximise responses keep your CV as simple as possible with basic subheadings, consistent formatting and avoid using tables or columns.
Over 90% of recruiters look up candidates online so it is important your digital presence is professional and consistent across all social media platforms. Review all social media accounts and take the time to think about your online reputation. Close the dormant accounts or plan how you wish to use them moving forward.
Review your existing connections and consider ways to build your network. Join more professional groups, follow companies of interest and industry influencers. Users who grow their network are 30% more likely to secure a role, so look at ways to increase your visibility in 2021.
2020 helped us become more creative in the ways in which we communicate. Networking online via social media platforms, emails and virtual events is more important than ever before and is a vital skill in a competitive job market.
Make sure you are making yourself visible to decision makers. Think about where you want to be in the next few years. Who do you need to connect with on LinkedIn? Make a point of reaching out to your contacts every few months. Make a list of 10 individuals who can support your job search or long-term career plan and make it a priority to keep in touch with them.
If there is one thing that 2020 taught us, it’s that in uncertain times we all need to have a plan B. The best way to demonstrate career resilience is to have a plan of action so you can hit the ground running should the worst happen. Conduct a skills audit, assess your career priorities, and know your options. Think about the ways you can use your transferable skills and diversify. You will be far better equipped to manage the transition if you are prepared and have a realistic plan.
Renovo is the UK’s leading outplacement and career transition specialist. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help you please call 0800 612 2011 or email firstname.lastname@example.org