Whether you’ve been in the professional world for the majority of your life or you’re just now dipping your toes into the pond, searching for a new job can feel intimidating. Putting yourself out there, even if it’s just emailing in a resume and cover letter, opens you up to the possibility of change. You’re also opening yourself up to the possibility of rejection. Especially in the ever-changing world in which we find ourselves, it’s hard to know where to apply, who’s hiring and, if a company is hiring, what are they looking for? 

A little stressful when you think about it, no? The good news is this – even though the challenges of job hunting might look a little different right now, the basic method of standing out amongst a pile of applicants remains the same, even in 2021. 

Dust off the resume 

Your resume is the most important document the recruiter will see. And the best news is there’s no one-size-fits-all resume. Depending on the path your life has taken you, you might have a college degree, but no professional experience – there’s a resume for that! Maybe you’re applying for a position in a new industry, though you have the skills necessary to thrive. Or, if your resume has gaps between jobs, you can adapt the structure to showcase personal growth or skills acquired during the time spent unemployed.   

We won’t lie to you; preparing a professional-looking resume takes time and energy. But there are truly hundreds of sources online, from resume templates to step-by-step writing guides to personalized help, all of which will walk you through the resume-writing process. Additionally, reach out to friends and family and ask to see their resumes as examples; learn from their language and formatting, as well as the personal statements they include, to gain a better picture of how you best want to craft your resume to reflect you, your skills and your experiences. 

Network in your preferred industry

In today’s day and age, a helpful way of landing a job in 2021 is through networking. Consider creating a LinkedIn profile if you don’t already have one, and connect with people already employed in your companies of interest. Additionally, when you do apply for a position, follow-up with the recruiting manager via email, letting them know of your continued interest in the position and your passion for the work they do. It shows initiative on your part, as well as enthusiasm for the company. 

Think about what you want 

For some, it’s about the paycheck. For others, it’s about quality of life. Regardless of what is important to you when considering a job, don’t necessarily apply to every single company that’s hiring just because they happen to be hiring. Be picky – within reason. 

Writing cover letter after cover letter will wipe you out, and if you don’t qualify for a position, why expend that energy in the first place? Also, consider the type of job. Perhaps it’s a zookeeping position, but you have zero experience working with animals; it’s probably not the best use of your time to draft that cover letter. But if you love working with your hands, an apprenticeship with a construction or electric company might be just the thing for you – apply accordingly! 


You’re probably going to receive rejection emails. It’s just what happens when applying to jobs. Take a deep breath, know it wasn’t meant to be and shake it off. Allow yourself time to rest throughout the process. Job hunting can feel like a full time job, and an exhausting one at that. If you need to take an afternoon off for a walk, wander through a museum, watch a couple episodes or bake a batch of cookies, do it! Job openings will still be waiting tomorrow. 

Consider which industries are hiring

Year to year sees differences in job availability across all markets. For example, jobs in leisure and hospitality, travel and events experienced a severe hit last year because of the pandemic, and a recovery timeline remains uncertain. However, other positions, including those in healthcare and mental health counseling, are on the rise. 

H2: Be patient, be persistent

At Real Recovery, we believe one of the final steps toward recovery involves returning to the tasks of daily life, including one’s career. However, if you don’t land the first job to which you apply, remember that this is not a regression in recovery. In fact, it’s a valuable learning lesson which can promote further growth. Taking career tests to learn about potential fits for you, creating an online presence for networking and crafting a cover letter and resume are vital to this growth and movement towards a better life. Stay as determined in your job application process as you are in maintaining sobriety. And if it’s recovery from substance use habits you’re looking for, call 1-855-363-7325 to take steps toward freedom today.