The 5-step plan all candidates should follow when applying for jobs in 2021, according to Glassdoor's CEO

  • Christian Sutherland-Wong, CEO of job search giant Glassdoor, said virtual hiring is a trend that will continue into 2021 and beyond. 
  • It can be daunting to apply virtually, but there are some ways you can set yourself up for success. 
  • Sutherland-Wong shared a 5-step plan candidates can use to get ahead in the virtual job search. 
  • Candidates should be mindful about doing their research and tailoring their application for each job. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Christian Sutherland-Wong, the CEO of job search giant Glassdoor, thinks virtual hiring is here to stay. 

Companies are embracing virtual hiring more than ever before, and it's a trend we're likely to see continue into 2021 and beyond, he told Insider in a recent interview. This means that job candidates will have to continue to brush up their virtual interviewing and networking skills.

"It's going to be a different experience doing things in an online world," Sutherland-Wong said. 

Millions of Americans are unemployed right now and January is prime time for job searching. It can feel daunting to start a job search during a pandemic, but there are some ways you can set yourself up for success.

Sutherland-Wong shared a five-step plan job seekers can use to find new roles right now. 

Assess your skills

It's important candidates know their own strengths and weaknesses. To figure this out, Sutherland-Wong shared a simple exercise job candidates can use to get to know themselves a bit better. 

Ask yourself the following questions: 

  • What do I like to do? 
  • What am I good at? 
  • What skills could I brush up on? 

From there, he said, you should get a clearer sense of your strongest skills and then pinpoint jobs that are a best fit for those interests. 

Do your research 

Now that you know your core skills, it's time to think about what you really want out of your career. Everyone's different, Sutherland-Wong said. Some people want a job they feel passionate about, but for others, it's just a way to make money. 

"It all has to begin with knowing what matters most to you," he said. 

Once you know what you want, target companies that fulfill those needs. Search online to get a clear sense of the culture at each company and whether or not it's a good fit for you. 

Tailor your résumé for each job

There are thousands of people applying for jobs every single day. To make yourself stand out, Sutherland-Wong advises refining your job application materials for each role. Include a professional summary that focuses on what's most unique about your application.

Recruiters want examples of times that you were successful at work, Sutherland-Wong says, so it's important to provide them with quantitative data (if available). Instead of saying you "grew revenue," write that you "grew revenue by 3%." 

Be proactive after sending applications

You should always formally apply to a job. It shows that you respect the company's application process, Sutherland-Wong said.

But you should still be proactive even after you press send. He suggests searching social media for employees at the company who could potentially help get your résumé noticed.

"Let them know you've applied formally and admire what they are doing. Consider reaching out directly," he said. 

Network virtually

Networking online requires less commitment than meeting up for a coffee, so people are more likely to want to meet. 

"Virtual networking is probably even easier than networking in the real world," he said. "It's really low cost, so take advantage of that." 

It can be awkward, and there are challenges, like computer issues, but Sutherland-Wong said job seekers should lean into it. Try to be optimistic, and embrace the good and the bad. 

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