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Hope & Help for 2021: Tips for job hunting in the new year

2021 has been billed as "the comeback year" for job seekers. Newswatch 16's Ryan Leckey has more on who's hiring in our area & tips from a pro to land your next job.

Although millions faced lay-offs or even job loss when the pandemic hit, a number of employment experts are referring to 2021 as the comeback year for job seekers. A slow, but steady comeback year. 

Right now, Pennsylvania's Career Link website shows there are more than 134,000 jobs up for grabs in the commonwealth. The postings are just about everywhere. You name the job-finding site, Indeed.com, LinkedIn, Monster, and every month, more and more positions are being uploaded.

On Glassdoor, another job site, there are a number of jobs posted in our area for health care, sales, and especially manufacturing. Some jobs starting at $28 an hour.

And get this: if you've gotten really good at working from home, 2021 could be the year to expand your career options and salary.

For example, Forbes recently shared that some big companies including Reddit and Zillow actually told their employees that they could work wherever they want and keep the same salary as they would if they lived in expensive cities such as New York or San Francisco.

With a vaccine rolling out, it allows many industries, including manufacturing jobs in our area, to try to bring more employees into the workplace and get the environment back to a sense of normalcy, especially since for some roles, remote work is nearly impossible.

To help Newswatch 16 navigate the 2021 job search, Ryan teamed with up with "employment matchmaker" Bill Leonard. He runs Leonard Workforce Solutions and has become a "go to" for people looking for career coaching, resume help and a person many area companies rely on to find their next company rock stars. 

Bill's chat with us is all part a new digital series this month called Hope & Help for 2021 which you can find on Ryan's Facebook page or the WNEP YouTube channel.

Among the many topics, Bill gave us the inside scoop on something called the hidden job market:

"(they are) all of those jobs that are available that aren't publicly advertised that nobody knows about. So the statistics and the research says that for every one job that's publicly advertised, at least one more is available, but not known to the public because it's not being advertised. So in other words, if you go online and you see 10 marketing positions, more than likely there are 20 of them. But those other 10, you don't know about for some reason. Some companies don't post their jobs online," he said. "They may not want to go through one hundred or two hundred resumes. They may not want their competition knowing about open availabilities at their company. And frankly, they may not have the resources or the skills to do a good job of recruiting. So as a job seeker, as someone who is out there looking for those jobs in the hidden job market, it's incumbent upon you to network with employees who work at the company. It's incumbent upon you to network with independent recruiters who can make that connection for you."

Another way to look at it, try networking on sites like LinkedIn with people who work in places where you want to work, ask them for a 10-minute call, and pick their brain on potential openings as a way to get in the door.

Now, Bill Leonard, dubbed our area's "Employment matchmaker," also shared a ton of other insider tips like navigating what you really need on your resume, virtual interviews, and signs when it's time for a career change.

You can see Bill's full interview at this link. There you'll also have access to other "news you can use" content for the new year, like financial tips, budgeting, and weight loss and workout tips.

Area employers and employees shared openings in our area on Ryan Leckey’s recent Facebook post. Check it out here