Being in the business that I am in, I am constantly asked one question all the time…”how is the job market?” People figure that I have a pulse on what is going on out there since I am a recruiter and a Search Coach, and I most certainly do. I would describe the current job market as warm. Certainly not hot, as it was years ago, but definitely not as cold as it was just a few short months back. Companies seem to be dipping their toes in the water and testing. Many are opening new positions and starting to bring on some new head count. That is the good part. The problem is that there are still many very talented and experienced people out there looking for work, so the talent pool is bigger, and thusly, more competitive.
That is where candidates need to focus. If there are jobs available, and more people available to fill them, you need to be sure that you have every edge possible to get yourself noticed. It is very much about who you know these days. Job search candidates need to tap into every possible network of people they have in their lives and leverage every relationship to their advantage. Think about the people you know. Now really think hard. Have you talked to the people you come into contact with on the baseball or soccer field when watching your kids games? What about at their schools? Church? Synagogue? Mosque? Social groups? Facebook? The list of people in your network is usually much larger than you think. Every person that you come into contact with in your life is a possible connection that could either help you directly or knows someone who can. Don’t be afraid to talk with people you know. Your friends will want to help you, and will usually be happy to do so.
Your resume is also an important tool in the search for your next opportunity. Some people have not updated it in a long time, simply because they figure that they don’t need to because they are employed. But having an updated resume makes you ready to react when you get a call from a recruiter with an interesting opportunity, when you hear about something good through your network, are if you are the unfortunate victim of a layoff. It doesn’t take much time to have it updated, and it is still the best tool to tell potential employers what you have accomplished in your career and what you bring to the table for their company.
So how is the job market? It’s warm, and getting warmer all the time. Make sure that you are ready for it. Be proactive and make sure that you are ready for a career change. It may happen by your choice, or sometimes by your employer’s, but if you are prepared and always ready for the next move, you will find success in your search much faster, and with much less stress and uncertainty.