2015 Job Seekers Have the Upper Hand

According to Forbes Magazine, 86% of workers in North America say they plan to actively look for a new job this year and for good reason…the job market has opened up. That means those who stayed in their current job roles for years due to a lack of choices and the security of a paycheck, now have the upper hand.

In fact, The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics just announced that 2014 was the best year for hiring since 1999 and that the unemployment rate fell from 5.8% to 5.6% (employers added 252,000 jobs in December). Better still, 36% of employers plan to increase their full-time staff in 2015, according to a CareerBuilder survey.

What does this mean for you? For the first time in 6 years, the job market is strong.  Job seekers now will find a greater number of opportunities available that will most likely offer better pay.  The hottest industries for hiring are information technology, financial services, manufacturing, and healthcare.

What hasn’t changed are the strategies you need to get noticed and considered for these opportunities. In DRI’s recent blog “Your 2015 Job Search”, I mentioned 8 ways to get noticed. Here’s 6 more strategies for you:

1) Update your resume in ways to capture attention.  You will be especially attractive if you expertise in those hard to fill positions.  Include all your specialty areas on your resume.  Remember to include any quantifiable results you have achieved. For example, if you increased customer retention by 20% over the years, make sure to highlight this accomplishment.  Also, add your social media links especially to LinkedIn so employers can find out more about you.

2) Get insider information.  The best job opportunities never get advertised especially if they’re high level.  You need to network and reach out to people who you know who work at the companies that are of interest to you. If you don’t know an insider, tap into your LinkedIn contacts or try to connect with someone in the know who can help you get considered for open positions.

3) Set up “Google Alerts” for companies of interest to you.  Be in the hiring loop by setting up Google Alerts for 3 to 5 companies at which you would like to work. This way, you’ll be on top of breaking news, job postings and business opportunities long before your competition without having to devote hours to research.

4) Download mobile job apps.  Mobile apps allow job seekers to search discreetly for positions anytime and anywhere and respond to postings quickly. There are apps that help with career planning, organize the job search process, alert job seekers to compatible positions, and can even upload and send resumes to recruiters.

5) Raise your profile and presence.  In and above being active in professional organizations, nominate yourself for speaking opportunities. This will raise your profile and capture the attention of employers.  Also, think about blogging on a regular basis to display your passion and knowledge.  You just may land a new job by being discovered digitally.

6) Be open to recruiters.  If a recruiter contacts you, be open to a discussion. They may be working on an active search that’s right in your wheelhouse and meets most of your “must haves”. But even if it’s not the perfect fit, recruiters also know about other available career opportunities. It doesn’t hurt to entertain a conversation. Also, help out a colleague if you can.  If you pay it forward, one of your colleagues might pay it back at a later date.

Are you among the 86% that are looking to make a job change this year?