The Great Resignation: What You Need to Know as a Job Seeker
Are you thinking about joining the millions of workers planning to jump ship for something new this year? If so, read on for some tips on how to make the transition work best for you.
By: Jennifer Meehan | Contributor for Let’s Eat, Grandma
Among the multiple effects of the pandemic on the American economy, unprecedented numbers of people are quitting their jobs in a wave that’s being called ”The Great Resignation.” According to the Labor Department, 4 million people quit their jobs just in the month of April.
The pandemic seems to have caused these millions of workers to feel things like: “Life’s too short to –
” – commute more than an hour every day”
” – try to survive on low wages”
” – put up with a job I hate”
” – give up time with my family”
Tired of not landing interviews?
Get our free 3-step guide to writing better resume bullet points, featuring 70 ideas for metrics you can use!
Or if you have been lucky enough to work remotely during the pandemic, going back to the office may be the last thing you want to do. Who would want to say goodbye to the flexibility of setting your own hours, working in your jammies, and not having to do your hair and makeup in the morning?
Taking the LeapIf you have considered leaving your job, just remember that the pandemic also caused a great recession. There are still many unemployed people out there, so there may be more competition in your industry than you think (but there also may be more openings than you think!)
Ideally, you’ll have another job lined up before you quit your current one. But if you just can’t take it anymore and want to be another member of the Great Resignation, here’s some advice for making the jump to your next opportunity.
Decide what you want.
Maybe it’s not just the office you hate. Maybe you’re disenchanted with your whole industry. This might be a great time to change careers. If you have transferable skills, like project management, you could switch from higher education to publishing, for example.
The point is to think before you leap. Would you need to move to another city? Does your target industry pay as much as you were making before? Take the time to plot your future path before working on your applications, and you’ll save yourself a ton of time and frustration.
Recognize your transferable skills.
Many restaurant, retail and hotel workers are deciding not to go back to the grind of working for tips. In fact, statistics from the Labor Department show that some 650,000 retail workers quit in the month of April alone.
If you’re among them, sit down and make a list of skills you’ve learned as a service employee that can transfer to another industry. For example, juggling 10 tables on a Saturday night requires awesome multitasking and organizational skills. You are also able to get along with many different types of people – you’ve developed your interpersonal and communication skills.
Tailor your resume.
This is probably the most important advice we can give. You want to have a slightly (or not so slightly) different resume for each job opening. A hiring manager wants to see in just a few seconds what you can do for the company. So if you’re applying for a public relations job, don’t use the same resume you used for a job in accounting. Emphasize your related skills up front and get a jump on the competitors.
(If you can’t stand writing your resume or feel stuck on writing even before tailoring it, remember – we can help with that!)
Use networking and job alerts.
Let the world know you’re looking. Remember, it’s estimated that up to 80% of jobs are filled through networking! Brush up your LinkedIn profile and learn about new features to help you stand out to all the recruiters that use the platform.
Take time to put together a strategy for building and leveraging your professional relationships to get referred for a job. You never know where a job lead might come from. While you’re at it, set up job alerts on the various job-hunting websites so you can apply immediately when a job you want gets posted.
Use your cover letter to stand out. Always include a cover letter in your application package. You don’t want to repeat what you’ve said in your resume but rather supplement it. It gives the recruiter a chance to learn a little bit more about you besides your hard skills. You don’t have to include the company’s address anymore, but please make sure you get the company name and position title right.
Setting Yourself up for Success
Ok, so you landed an interview. Now what?
Make your remote expectations clear.
In this new post-pandemic environment, many companies are assessing whether it’s so important to have employees on-site. Emphasize that you’re looking for a full-time, long-term position that can be performed from home. Perhaps you can spend the first six months or so at the office for training or come in a couple of days a week. Employers may be very receptive.
Be prepared to ask good questions.
There comes that moment in every interview when you’re asked “Do you have any questions for us?” Prepare a few ahead of time so you don’t freeze and come up blank. One that I’ve used to good effect is: “Do you think I have the qualifications for this job?”
Have the salary talk.
What you will be paid is extremely important. And remember, with more job vacancies than candidates overall, companies may be more willing than before to negotiate for the benefits that you require. Brush up on some techniques for negotiating a salary here. After all, low pay was probably one thing that made you resign. Get what you’re worth!
If you have decided to resign from your so-so job, take advantage of these record-setting changes in the economy and make a move toward a more interesting, stable and fulfilling job or career. Seize the day and find that next great opportunity!
Once you’ve nailed down a target and feel ready to work on your applications, our professional resume writers are ready to help.
Ready for more job search help?
Start landing more interviews with our free eBook – you'll learn our professional resume writers' 3-step process for writing better resume bullet points, plus 70 ideas for numbers you can use in your resume!
Want a better resume?
Get our free 3-step guide to writing better bullets (plus 70 ideas for metrics!)