SPECIFIC Tips for the Job Search
“The Phoenix metro area added 36,500 jobs between April of last year and the same month this year, putting it fifth in the country for total job gains.” – Adam Kress, Phoenix Business Journal
The Phoenix area job market is making progress in a positive direction. While this is good news, we know we have a long way to go here in Arizona and across the nation. Without standing on the soapbox of what the Federal Unemployment Rate doesn’t include, I will say that 8.3% only counts those still eligible for and seeking unemployment benefits. Those who no longer qualify or who are no longer seeking employment are not counted. The reality is 8.3% is a low estimate of the number of Americans out of work.
As the market moves to bring jobs to the market, how can job seekers set themselves apart from unprecedented competition in the job market?
Here are SPECIFIC tips for the job search:
Specific job titles, companies and targeted industries are essential for you landing the career of your dreams. Be specific about what you want from your next career. Maybe the ability to work from home is important to you. Know your desired salary range. Consider specific benefits of the specific companies on your list. Now is the time to get what you desire – or something pretty darn close!
Planning will go a long way to getting you the job you desire. It will also prevent you from applying for jobs that you really don’t want and focus your time on what you do want.
Everything is not what you are good at. Consider the parts of your past jobs that you liked. Maybe you get to dress casually or you like the customer interaction. Maybe you are good at data analysis but like personal interaction. Take time to reflect on what you like and what you are good at; this will guide your job search to companies that fit your wants or needs.
Companies are hiring people who fit the culture of the company. “Focus on the story of your resume, not the facts,” according to a recent blog post by Simply Hired. Listing skills is no longer the norm for job seekers in most industries. While there are industries and positions for which you must demonstrate specific skills and training, the fact remains that companies want to know you will fit the culture. It costs a lot to hire and train employees and they don’t want to waste resources on someone who isn’t going to fit.
Investigate and research the companies for whom you want to work. Company A may seem like a perfect fit until you talk to current and past employees. An insider take on the companies on your targeted list is the best way to find out about companies without having to work for them. LinkedIn is a great way to connect with people from your targeted companies.
Forget how you did the job search the last time. This is a new economy with new rules.
I will take anything is not a good response to a prospective employer or networking contact. You must know what you want for your next career. Consider contract or temporary work in a field or company of interest. You may fall in love and be hired long term!
Community resources are available. Funding comes from the government resources for worker training and retraining programs. Job clubs like Career Connectors are surviving on the kindness of local community partners, businesses and volunteers. The impact of the current election cycle on the jobs market is yet to be seen. Take advantage of what is available today. Check the Corporate Partners section of http://www.careerconnectors.org/corporate-partners/ as well as county and state resources.
Here’s to you landing the career of your dreams!
Jessica Pierce is Founder and President of Accelerated Team Dynamics, LLC (ATD) a company dedicated to getting employees placed in the right positions in the marketplace by coaching companies as well as candidates. She is also Executive Director of Career Connectors, a community outreach program dedicated to connecting Real People to Real Careers. She is a known speaker, trainer and career transition expert.
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