Six Ways Candidates Can Prepare to Compete For the Most Desirable Positions
2016 should be a great year for job hunters but candidates still face competition for the most desirable positions, says a new CareerCast.com report. Unemployment claims, which have been below 300,000 for 50 straight weeks (the longest stretch since the early 1970s), point towards a recovery in the job market. Another sign of hope for job seekers is that the baby boom generation is retiring, which is reducing the proportion of adults with jobs or looking for one. This is a boon to millennials who are dealing with the still-lingering impact of a recession that coincided with their entry into the workforce. U.S. Census statistics estimate roughly 40 percent of the nation’s unemployed are from the millennial generation.
“As the unemployment rate drops and more people find jobs, there is still competition for the best positions,” says Kyle Kensing, Online Content Editor, CareerCast. “Even with a rosier employment outlook, applicants need to be prepared for job market competition, particularly for the high-paying positions with a positive outlook that everyone wants.”
To help job seekers find employment, even in a robust job market, CareerCast offers six cornerstones of a successful job search:
Unconventional Resumes – A graphical resume can grab a prospective employer’s attention aesthetically and demonstrate skills and experience. A personal website can function as a resume and also give hirers an example of the candidate’s abilities.
Leave Your Comfort Zone – A willingness to take risks and do what feels uncomfortable is essential in the job market. 2016 is an ideal time to move out of your comfort zone and get aggressive in your job hunt and becoming more aggressive requires leaving conventional channels.
Network – From an HR perspective, the No. 1 source of new hires continues to be employee referrals. Professional groups and industry meetups are good places to network with employees, but Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and even Snapchat provide easily accessible outlets for connectivity. Twitter’s hash-tagged chats are an inviting and easy one to get your foot in the social media door with like-minded pros.
Payment Expectations – Know your worth and research what comparably skilled employees make at your experience level and in your region. The BLS, PayScale.com and job postings, such as those found on CareerCast.com, can help prepare you.
Research – Position yourself to show you can hit the ground running. Demonstrate that you can fulfill the requirements without a great deal of training. Know the expectations of the job from current employees and go into an interview prepared to show your stuff.
Respect – Attitude still goes a long way in the job search. You may be looking to leave one employer for another, but highlight the positives of your current and past employers. Candidates who talk down of a former workplace may well do so of a new employer.