The Top Jobs, Remote Roles, Industries, and Cities for Entry-Level Candidates in 2021
It’s never easy to transition from school to the working world. You have to figure out where you want to live and what you want to do and then find and land a job—all while dealing with a slew of new norms and expectations. Throw in a global pandemic and its economic ramifications and the process becomes all the more daunting.
Those who graduated after the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S. in 2020 struggled to find work. Only 69% of adults ages 20 to 29 who’d completed a degree in the spring of 2020 were employed in October 2020, compared to 78% the previous year, according to the Pew Research Center.
The good news is that the job market overall rebounded in 2021. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 9.2 million job openings for May 2021, compared to 5.4 million for May 2020. And the National Association of Colleges and Employers projected in its spring 2021 outlook report that employers would hire 7.2% more new grads from the class of 2021 than they had from the class of 2020, with 92% of employers saying they planned to maintain or increase hiring.
LinkedIn found similarly promising numbers in an analysis geared toward 2021 grads. “We are cautiously optimistic for the 2021 graduating class,” the company reported, based on the findings of its Economic Graph team. “The rate of hiring returning to [those of] pre-COVID times suggests that 2021 graduates are likely heading into a more stable and healthy job market.”
As part of its analysis, LinkedIn zoomed in to identify the most in-demand entry-level roles, the most common remote job openings at the entry level, the geographic locations with the most entry-level jobs, and the industries hiring the most entry-level talent in the first months of 2021. Take a look at the lists below, where you’ll also find links to search for open roles on The Muse.
These entry-level roles were in high demand in early 2021, according to LinkedIn’s analysis. Click on each title to find the most up-to-date openings on The Muse.
After so many workers went remote by necessity during the pandemic, many job seekers are eager to find permanently remote roles—and some companies are obliging with flexible and remote opportunities. These jobs saw the most growth in the number of entry-level spots compared to the previous year. Click on each title to find remote job openings on The Muse.
Here are the areas across the country that saw the most entry-level job openings posted between January and March 2021 (click on each city to find open roles via The Muse).
- New York City
- Washington, D.C. and Baltimore
- Los Angeles
- Dallas-Fort Worth
- San Francisco Bay Area
But if you’re looking to start your career elsewhere, there are other cities seeing growth in entry-level positions in 2021 compared to the previous year, particularly in healthcare, manufacturing, and software and IT services:
Look for healthcare jobs near:
- Burlington, VT (or search all jobs near Burlington, VT)
- Morgantown, VT and Wheeling, WV (or search all jobs near Wheeling, WV)
- North Port-Sarasota, FL (or search all jobs near Sarasota, FL)
- Cape Coral, FL
- San Angelo, TX (or search all jobs near San Angelo, TX)
Look for manufacturing jobs in:
- Waco, TX
Look for software and IT services jobs in:
Finally, if you’re thinking about what industry you want to work in, consider these, which had the most openings for entry-level talent in the first months of 2021. Click to find the most recent job openings on The Muse.
It’s encouraging to know that there are jobs out there. But as an entry-level applicant embarking on your very first job search (or even your second or third), you may be wondering what to do from there.
Here are a few tips and resources to help you find and land a job that’s right for you:
1. Write a Stellar Resume
Your resume is often the first thing employers will see—and it can determine whether they go on to look at anything else. So be thoughtful when crafting your entry-level resume; highlight transferable skills you can bring to the table from school, internships, volunteer work, and more; tailor it to each role and company; make sure it can be read by an applicant tracking system (ATS); and don’t forget to proofread it. You can take a look at resume examples for specific types of roles for inspiration!
2. Use Your Cover Letter to Stand Out
You may be wondering whether cover letters are even still necessary. More often than not, the answer is yes. And as an entry-level candidate who doesn’t have much (or any) previous work experience, the cover letter is a particularly important tool you can use to help you stand out among all the other entry-level job seekers vying for the same jobs. Still not convinced? Here are five reasons you should still write a cover letter even if it’s optional. Once you’re ready to write, use these tips for a standout recent grad cover letter.
3. Be Prepared for Your Interviews
Getting an interview means you’ve successfully made it through the first round (or rounds) of winnowing—congrats! Now it’s on you to be as prepared as you can. Familiarize yourself with common interview questions and practice answering them out loud, either with a friend or family member or by yourself, and go over these general interview tips and these video interview tips if applicable (many companies are continuing to use remote hiring processes even as offices begin to reopen). It’s completely normal to be nervous—you can try these methods to calm your nerves. And finally, make sure you send a personalized thank you email to each person who interviewed you within 24 hours.
4. Reach Out and Ask for Help
You don’t have to do this all by yourself. You can reach out to friends, family, professors, internship supervisors, and other connections for help (you’ll find some helpful templates here and here), and you can even reach out to people you don’t know yet to request informational interviews. You can also turn to folks you trust for advice on finding a job, resume and cover letter input, and interview practice. If you’re looking for professional guidance, you can find career coaches right here on The Muse (and you can even filter for those who specialize in working with new grads or job seekers in a particular industry or role).
5. Remember You’re Interviewing the Company Too
When you’re in the running for a job, the recruiter and hiring manager are evaluating whether you’re qualified and, moreover, if you would be the very best addition to the team. So you definitely want to do everything you can to prove you’re the right hire. But at the same time, you should be assessing whether this role and company are right for you. So try to learn what you can about company culture (which, yes, you can do even if you’re interviewing remotely), assess whether the organization truly cares about diversity and inclusion, and ask questions during your interviews to find out what you need to know about the role and the company to be sure you can make the right decision when the time comes.