The latest jobs market report published stated that 175,000 new jobs were added in February. This is great news but we are still strapped with an unemployment rate of 6.7%. Depending on which Job Board you look at there are quite a number of job opportunities listed so the question remains how do you navigate the job market?
Before the explosion of social media and high tech search techniques submitting your resume and waiting for a response from a prospective employer was just about all you had to do. Those days are long gone and new techniques have to be employed in order for you to increase your opportunities. Let’s face it; there are no magic bullets that will land you a job, but there are certainly steps you can take to improve your chances. We outline 5 ways to navigate the job market to shorten your new career search.
1. Develop an On-line presence. It was recently reported that 95% of Recruiters utilize social media to identify job candidates. You should develop a professional profile on all the popular social media sites to help you in the job market. Sites such as linkedin™ offer you the ability to not only list your profile but also to network with professionals with similar backgrounds. Facebook™ is also excellent for you to develop a professional profile to communicate with your friends and family about career opportunities.
2. Referrals. Referrals from employees, alumni and others represent approximately 27% of positions filled by companies. You should immediately reach out to friends who work for companies you are interested in. Be sure to let them know you are in the job market and provide them with a copy of your resume [electronic preferred]. Employers always reach out to employees first before posting jobs on job boards or seeking the assistance of recruiters.
3. Job boards. There are many popular sites companies use such as Career Builder™, Monster™, HealtheCareers, DICE™ et al. These sites are used by companies and recruiters to identify candidates who are unemployed and in the job market. If you utilize any of these sites be sure to regularly update your resume as some companies use date parameters when sourcing for candidates. This is done by going back into your profile and updating content etc.
4. Resume Marketing. Resumes were once considered a document to list your work history and education information. Resumes are now viewed as your most important marketing document. This document should now include a value proposition statement and documentation of past performance and results. If you are in a performance or numbers driven field be sure to provide relevant performance data to support your performance. Your resume is literally the one document that prospective employers look at to determine if they want to consider you for a phone screen. It must be tailored specifically to the job you are applying for. Be sure your resume is well written and keyword rich. Keywords are usually found in the job description and prospective company’s mission statement. A good way to determine keywords would be to think of the words you would use in google search to find something.
5. Persistence and patience. It was recently reported that professionals can expect to spend on average 44 weeks in the job market. Knowing that there are many qualified professionals just like you looking for work you have to look for ways to gain an edge. Just like the profession of sales; the job search is also a numbers game. You have to understand as well that it is a full time activity and in order to shorten your job search time you have to work hard at it.
The economy is improving but there are still many professionals either unemployed or under employed. Companies are once again hiring and looking for qualified employees. Be mindful that today’s employer is very selective and know that they have many choices of qualified candidates. Knowing how to navigate this tough job market will help you find that new rewarding career.