What are the best job search strategies when the unemployment rate is low?
Low employment rates mean that there are more job openings, which leads to a greater need for job candidates. So adjust your job search strategy to take advantage of the trend
Here’s what you need to do If recruiters are looking, make it easy for them to find you. Optimize your 120 character profile headline for the search terms employers in your industry are looking for. Utilize the 2 thousand character summary section so that a recruiter gets a sense of you as a person, not just a boring list of what you do. Using the first person is one way to come across as a person, not just a job candidate. And please use a professional-looking headshot for your photo! No selfies, no cropped photos from your cousin’s wedding, no pets or kids or anyone else, for that matter.
Employee referrals are an excellent strategy for your job search; they are your secret weapon. New hires sourced via employee referrals have a much greater chance of being retained for a year or more than employees recruited sourced through other means. The reason why is obvious. When an employee refers someone, they´re putting their personal reputation and credibility at stake, both with their employer and their friend. When unemployment is low, employers are even more reliant on employee referrals.
Here’s what you need to do how do you snag one of those employee referrals? Your network, of course! Focused on a position at Company A? Type Company A into the LI search bar and a list of LI members who work there will pop up, allowing you to easily identify any in your network. Of course, if any of your first-degree connections work there, you already know it, but I bet you were aware of the second and even third degree connections! Reach out to those contacts with a personal email. This great article from Hunter.io details how to find most people’s work email. Explain why you are interested in the position, and ask if that person can spare a few minutes to discuss it with you. Another strategy is to ask your first degree connection to intercede on your behalf with the second degree person.
Low unemployment means that employers need to promote their employer brand as a job search strategy. To learn how employers develop and promote their brands, read this article I wrote for a HR publication. Low unemployment means that every employer is competing against other companies for the best candidates. While this was always true, expect it to become a bigger factor.
Low unemployment rates don’t really help candidates who lack the skills and qualifications that employers are looking for. Do your research to identify the top skills employers are looking for.
Here’s what you need to do develop those skills! Anyone who’s interested in project management, for instance, really needs to add the PMP credential to his or her resume. Get that certification from the many accredited options. And while certifications are hugely important credentials, it’s important to boost your job search strategies by actually doing something related to your newly acquired skill. Do some freelance projects, even if you do them for free; they still count on your resume and add credibility to your claim of having the skill.
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