It’s been a long time coming, but the 2021 job market is on the rebound. According to ManpowerGroup’s Employment Outlook Survey, there was a 3 percentage-point increase in new job opportunities in the first quarter of 2021 compared with the last quarter of 2020. Plus, companies in all U.S. industries expect to see payroll gains from January to March.

Although you might not see drastic differences in employment opportunities yet, it’s clear that the job market outlook is positive. USA Today predicts that continued social distancing measures and vaccine distribution efforts will result in America’s best economic performance in two decades. People are ready to get back out into the world, which will create a need for new hires.

Just know that this doesn’t mean things will return to “normal.” The shift to remote work and other pandemic-era evolutions have forever changed the business landscape. If you’re looking for a job in 2021, the best way to stand out from the crowd is to adapt to companies’ needs and expectations.

Job Market Trends

At Cheeky Scientist, we’ve seen some hiring trends emerge for the 2021 job market. A few industries desperately need additional workers: technology, e-commerce, and healthcare. The first two sectors saw significant growth during the pandemic, but the healthcare industry experienced increased pressure. Many clinical roles can’t be fulfilled remotely, so healthcare companies need hires who can work in person.

We also noticed a definite disparity between high-tech roles and low-tech roles in the economic and industrial sectors. Companies are eager to ensure their future, which means they want innovative employees who can work autonomously and learn on the job quickly. This is part of the reason why hiring for top research and development jobs has never been higher.

Are you having trouble finding a job? You might need to be more flexible and creative. After the 2020 business world shake-up, employers want to hire visionary problem solvers. The phrase “innovate or die” is every company’s new mantra. If you can’t tell employers what company improvements you’d make during your interviews, then they aren’t going to take a chance on you.

How to Land a Job in 2021

Your prior work experience determines what you did, not what you will do. It’s possible to adapt to the times and get hired even if you’re aiming for a different industry or role — you just need to adjust your approach. To increase your chances of landing a position in the 2021 job market, follow these three steps:

1. Write Down 10 Ideas Each Day

Recording your ideas improves your memory and helps you be more creative, which is precisely what companies want. Employers are asking behavioral and stress test questions earlier in the interview process, so writing down your ideas will help you stay agile and adaptable.

Most people let self-criticism stand in the way of their creativity; flip that arrangement. Be like Google and host brainstorming sessions where anything is on the table. When you eliminate boundaries, you open up room for creativity.

2. Refresh Your Résumé to Focus on Transferable Skills

In the past, you’d tailor your résumé for every job you applied for by focusing on specialty skills only. Now, companies are looking for transferable skills rather than role-specific ones. Employers know they can train you on technical skills as long as you’re able to learn and adapt quickly.

As a result, you’ll want to reframe your expertise. Did you teach yourself coding? Highlight the fact that you’re self-motivated to learn and improve. Have you managed a remote team of salespeople? Focus on the remote management aspect. Once your résumé is updated, make similar changes to your social media and digital portfolio.

3. Prepare for Crossover Between Your Personal and Professional Lives

Many people who worked in an office have fallen in love with the freedom and flexibility that remote work provides. However, employers know that telecommuting isn’t for everyone. Expect to answer contextual interview questions as employers try to get a sense of your self-discipline and work ethic.

For example, you might hear questions like “What’s your morning routine?” and “How do you prioritize work?” You can’t shy away from interview questions about work-life balance in the remote work era. Learn how to communicate your value and abilities in a compelling narrative form.

It’s not easy to land a position right now, but it’s also not impossible. These three tips for finding a new job are a great way to set your search up for success as you navigate the 2021 job market.