It’s a job-seekers’ market

Unemployment rates are reaching all-time lows across the country, which can be beneficial for all of us. According to March 2018 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 17 states have unemployment rates lower than the national rate of 4.1 percent, and eight states have the lowest rates they’ve ever had since states began tracking unemployment data in 1976! 😮

The unemployment rate is defined as the percentage of workers who are unemployed and actively looking for a job. Today, with a historically low number of people looking for work, employers are having to compete to retain and attract employees. Many workers are taking this opportunity to look for new opportunities or to increase their compensation at work.

Four easy career-building tips

To take advantage of the current job-seekers’ market, try these four simple tips:

Update your resume: Having a resume is necessary to get an hourly or salaried job -- and it’s often required to apply for a promotion or raise. Start your resume with your name and contact information at the top. Follow with a short paragraph that summarizes your skills, experience, and goals. Then provide a list of your job experience and responsibilities, and finish with your education. Check out TheJobNetwork for resume samples and more tips.

Upload your resume to job boards: Employers and recruiters are constantly searching job boards like Indeed and Monster.com for candidates. If you upload your resume, they’ll be able to find it and contact you with opportunities. Sweet! Indeed allows you to upload your resume in a few clicks and boasts millions of jobs (hourly and salary). Monster.com also lets you upload a resume and then shares it with the myriad employers who search Monster's databases every day.

Create a LinkedIn profile: It’s easy to set up a LinkedIn profile, and you can use the same content you wrote for your resume. Follow this easy how-to video from LinkedIn. Employers use LinkedIn to search for candidates, and when you apply for a job, many look you up on LinkedIn straight away. Make sure they find a nice profile and photo (ideally a head shot, and not a photo of you on your last beach vacation!) that demonstrate your professionalism.

Search for a better job: Many employers are raising wages and offering perks as competition for employees increases. For example, a restaurant chain in California is promising employees a raise every 60 days, and a popular sports store promises competitive wages; medical, dental and optical coverage; a 40 percent discount; and more. Keep your eyes peeled for Help Wanted signs, and don’t be shy about inquiring what’s in it for you. You can also search jobs and set up job match alerts at employment sites like TheJobNetwork.

Strike while the job market’s hot 🔥

Now’s the time to see what’s out there. If history has taught us anything, we know the economy goes through cycles, and unemployment won’t stay this low forever. Also, it almost goes without saying, but we like to play it safe: We recommend that you do NOT leave your current job until after you officially secure something bigger and better. Happy career building!