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  • Make Job-Market Trends Work for You

    Whether you’re interested in getting a new job, changing careers, or hiring new employees, keeping abreast of job market trends is crucial. If you want to make your job-search time count or hire well, understanding the three biggest trends in the job market can help you succeed.

     

    More Contract Jobs and Internships

    As it becomes more and more costly for employers to hire full-time employees, contract and temporary work is becoming more common. A 2012 CareerBuilder Forecast found that 40% of employers planned to hire temporary and contract workers in 2013. If you’re looking for work, positions like these get you some experience while helping you make ends meet. The same CareerBuilder Forecast predicted that 42% of the employers hiring contract and temporary workers plan to transition some of those workers into permanent employment in the next year. Internships and contract or temp jobs deserve your full effort because they can lead to regular employment and other professional opportunities.

     

    The Social Job Search

    Social media’s use has spread to nearly every facet of our lives, especially the job market. In 2011, 14.4 million people used social media to find their last job, 92% of recruiters used social media to fill positions and research candidates, and 73% of employers hired candidates through social media.

     

    Given these numbers, a resume and cover letter are just not enoughto get you a job. Now that potential employers are searching for anything that mentions your name on the Internet and viewing all your social media pages, taking control of your online identity is more important than ever. Personal branding, positioning yourself as an expert in your field, and cultivating your network on social media are crucial to your success in job hunting. And some of your best job leads can come from your networked connections.

     

    Focus on Your Specialties

    As companies try to do more with less, employers are left with highly specialized, technically sophisticated job openings and not enough candidates to fill them. According to the 2013 Workforce/Workplace Forecast from the management consultants at the Herman Group, “Trained, experienced workers will be in short supply in many fields.”

     

    Getting the skills you need for the jobs you want is the key to capitalizing on this trend. Focusing on and promoting your skill sets to boost your job search will brand you as the solution to employers’ problems. Conduct information interviews with people who already have the position, or look at the requirements that most frequently appear in postings for the jobs you’re interested in. Take classes to get the credentials you need to compete for these highly specialized jobs.

     

    Adapt to the Challenges of the Market

    Branding yourself well and being willing to work at short-term jobs to get where you want to go are useful strategies for your job search. Working to enhance and promote your specialized skills and qualifications will make you stand out from the crowd when employers are looking to fill positions. Although the demand for labor is stronger now than it has been in recent years, taking the time to adapt to the expectations and challenges of the market can be the difference between staying unemployed and having your dream job.

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