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Karen Dwyer: Getting Back in the Job Market

Research shows a rise in hiring, but it takes work to stand apart from the competition

There’s no time like the present to lay the groundwork, start networking and update your résumé to get back in the job market.

Karen Dwyer
Karen Dwyer

Research indicates that hiring trends are on the upswing. A national hiring trends survey of employers conducted by Express Employment Professionals shows commercial and clerical positions are likely to see continued hiring increases for the third quarter.

Express surveyed 10,181 current and former clients across the company’s more than 550 locations in the United States and Canada. Thirty-four percent of respondents plan to hire full-time light industrial positions in the third quarter, while 28 percent plan to hire for administrative positions. The survey also reveals that 13 percent of respondents plan to hire for engineering positions and 11 percent plan to hire for information technology positions.

According to CareerBuilder and USA Today’s latest nationwide survey of employers, 41 percent of hiring managers plan to hire between July and December. One in five managers plan to hire full-time employees in the third quarter. The survey showed that employers are primarily focused on recruiting for customer service, sales and information technology positions.

Although research predicts a brighter outlook for the job market, it will take some effort to stand out from the competition. You will need to be persistent and position yourself to get back in the job market, especially since the country is coming off the recent recession and high unemployment rates. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for June was 9.6 percent.

As things continue to improve, here are a few tips for getting back in the job market.

Set Goals for Your Job Search

Goal setting will help you target your job search and better know what you want. Do you want something part-time? How important is a flexible schedule? Do you have time to look for a dream job? Do you need something quick so you can pay the bills? Do you want to work for a nonprofit or a corporation?

Write out your goals and post them on the refrigerator or bathroom mirror as a daily reminder.

Network, Network, Network

Let people know you’re looking for a job. E-mail your contacts your résumé, and let them know what type of job you want. There are numerous professional and civic organizations that provide networking opportunities. Additionally, several social online networks for job seekers are available. For example, MyWorkButterfly.com is a social network for moms returning to the work force.

Social media also provides a great opportunity for your job search. Companies often have Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter accounts. You can connect with people on those sites to keep up with company information and contribute to the online conversation with people at those organizations.

Update Your Résumé

Take a hard, constructive look at your résumé and update it according to your goals. It might even be worth the cost to have a professional resume writer develop your résumé so it stands out from your competition.

However, if it’s not feasible to do that, an easy tip is to incorporate your accomplishments and statistics of how you met or exceeded project goals into your résumé. This will show a potential employer that you are results-oriented and can bring solutions to the table.

Once you’ve positioned yourself to get back into the job market, make it your job to get a job. It might be tough at first for you to hear you are not the right candidate, but don’t give up on your job search. Be confident in your capabilities and the skills you have to offer an employer, focus on what you do well, and, most importantly, keep networking.

— Karen Dwyer is owner of Express Employment Professionals, 1025 Chapala St., Suite 206 in Santa Barbara. Click here to contact her or call 805.965.6900.

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