- January is prime time to start a job search — it's usually when companies get new budgets and start ramping up their hiring.
- However, job searching might look a little different this year because of the pandemic.
- Insider has compiled a guide for anyone who is looking for a job right now, from early searching to nailing the interview.
To put it lightly, job searching during a pandemic can be a challenge.
Worldwide lockdowns have forced remote work, and the resulting recession has caused the US to lose 140,000 jobs in December alone, ending a seven-month streak of payroll additions.
Even though it may be tough, job-seekers can still find work if they look in the right places and adopt the right strategies.
Insider has gathered the tools to help you do so. Below, we've compiled a list of advice from a range of experts, from career and executive coaches to HR leaders and recruiters, on how you can set yourself up for success this year.
Not sure where to start? Pick an industry on the rise
Jobs in healthcare, for example, are booming right now. Some industries, like management consulting, have suffered because of the pandemic, but are still hiring for internships and full time roles.
The stories below will help you bring a fuzzy goal into focus.
Read more: Silicon Valley recruiters reveal how you can network your way to a job at a top startup - and the mistake that can can sabotage your chances
Use these templates to write a standout cover letter that will get a recruiter's attention at top consulting firms like McKinsey and Bain
MBA candidates who interned at McKinsey share how you can stand out during the 10-week program and land a 6-figure job
10 industries booming during the pandemic that are hiring for fully remote jobs right now
12 recruiters who've placed candidates at firms like Goldman Sachs, Burberry, and Lionsgate on how to land hot jobs in 2021
The hiring policy at McKinsey, one of the world's most elite management consultancies, is defined by one thing: Harvard
These 5 skills will give you the best shot at impressing hiring managers from companies like Facebook and eBay
A McKinsey recruiter reveals the 3 biggest changes the company made to the hiring process - and how to leverage them to get a 6-figure job in 2021
5 databases helping tech companies like Facebook and Apple recruit workers that were laid off during the coronavirus pandemic
A former Amazon recruiter shares the simple résumé tweak that will help you get a job at the company (or anywhere else you want to work)
Meet 10 recruiters and career coaches that can help you nab a 6-figure job at consulting firms like McKinsey and Bain
The DC outsiders ultimate guide to getting a job in politics so you can find your way to Capitol Hill and make change happen
Searching during a recession is difficult, but not impossible
To up your chances at landing a job during a downturn, career coaches suggest trying virtual networking. Don't be afraid to reach out to people in your network who you think might be able to help you find work.
It's also a good idea to consider a career pivot. Think about the skills you have, and how those can apply to jobs in a variety of industries.
Check out the stories below to learn how to grab a recruiter's attention or make that next big move.
Read more: Use this exact email template from a LinkedIn career expert to network and find a new job during a recession
A LinkedIn message took 2 minutes to write and got the sender a job at a successful startup - even though they weren't hiring
Recruiters and career coaches who survived the Great Recession share their most urgent advice for finding a job during a new economic downturn
How to write an email that gets the hiring manager's attention at your dream company
I just cohosted a Reddit AMA and a lot of questions were about career changes. Here's some practical advice on making the move successfully.
3 Great Recession grads who now earn 6 figures and have worked for Netflix and Bank of America share the exact steps they took to land a job during a downturn
5 experienced recruiters who've worked through the Great Recession reveal the best way to network and put yourself on a recruiter's radar when hiring is slow
8 steps to improve your career while self-isolating, so you can land a plum job after the quarantine
12 books to read right now to help you get a job and find success during a recession
A tough economy can be a prime opportunity to reinvent your career. Here are 4 key questions that will tell you whether you're ready to pivot.
Preparing your application
It's important to show hiring managers why you're uniquely suited for a specific role. You can do that in your application materials.
Your résumé is the single most important document you'll provide to a potential employer. That's followed closely by the cover letter, which is an opportunity to connect the experiences you've showcased in your résumé with the needs of a specific company.
Keep reading to see how to make the most of your unique skills and background.
Read more: Use this interactive template that we created with a career coach to build your perfect résumé
How to make your online application irresistible to recruiters, according to 4 executives from LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Monster, and CareerBuilder
'To whom it may concern' is a terrible way to address a cover letter. Here are all the salutations to avoid when you don't know the hiring manager's name.
10 résumé templates you can use to apply for jobs right now - and how to tailor them for your industry and experience
34 common language and formatting mistakes to remove from your résumé right now
3 actions you can take right now to boost your confidence if you're struggling with rejection during a job search
The 5-step plan all candidates should follow when applying for jobs in 2021, according to Glassdoor's CEO
A robot will probably read your résumé before a human does. Here are 3 simple tricks to make sure they don't pass it by.
5 mistakes job seekers make that immediately turn off recruiters that try to 'poach' them for a role
38 common résumé mistakes that hurt your chances of getting hired
Acing the interview
Congratulations! You've made it to the interview.
In the age of coronavirus, virtual interviews are becoming much more popular - a trend that's likely to continue after the pandemic is over.
When virtual interviewing, it's good practice to make sure you have a neutral background in a well-lit room. Make sure you make eye contact with the recruiter, but don't worry too much if you get interrupted by a barking dog or crying baby. It's likely they'll understand the challenges of working from home.
Here's a handful of stories to get you started.
Read more: Use this simple technique from recruiters to craft a compelling story about your career and impress any hiring manager
8 tips for improving your Zoom interview skills to increase your chances of landing a job
21 surprising behaviors that affect whether you get hired after a job interview
Use this guide to create a job interview cheat sheet to prepare for tough questions and impress potential employers
Here are the answers to 11 of the toughest job interview questions growing startups ask their candidates - from drawing your life as a river to naming your TED Talk
Here's what Elon Musk, Richard Branson, Jack Dorsey, and 50 other top executives ask job candidates during interviews
Engineers from top tech companies like Google, Netflix, and Twitter offer their best tips for nailing a job interview - and the questions they faced when applying for their roles