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New Year, New Job? Five Tips to help your 2016 job search.

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Sheri Welsh

If you’ve considered the idea of taking a new job this year, you’re not alone. According to a recent Gallup Workforce Panel study 51% of U.S. employees are considering a new job. While reasons vary from person to person, the high number of curious job seekers is certainly impacted by the talent shortage across the U.S. Knowing there are a lot of great job openings right now, many experienced workers just can’t resist taking a look.

Educated, experienced workers remain in critically short supply across the U.S. and the shortage is felt just as acutely in Southwest Michigan. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment rates for workers 25 years old and above with a Bachelor’s Degree (or higher) is at a mere 2.5%. That means that just about everyone that wants to work has a job. When companies post a new opening, their pool of available candidates has become very shallow. If you are a talented, experienced professional in your field your chance of landing that dream job have increased exponentially simply because the competition for that position is so slim.

Still, being in the “keeping my options open” mode is no easy task. Here’s our top five tips for conducting a successful job search in 2016:

  1. Go Social. If you’re not on LinkedIn or Facebook, get there - now. If you are there, be sure your profile is accurate, up to date and free from any undesirable content. Recruiters are becoming increasingly dependent on LinkedIn for leads yet new hires report that the Facebook is the site they used when looking for their last job. There is a disconnect there, but recruiters will soon catch up. Be active on both.
  2. Know what you want. Gallup’s recent Workforce Panel Study showed that the number one reason people took a new job was because it allowed them to do the kind of work that they do best. What is it that you really love to do? When you know that and stay true to that, you’re likely to find the perfect fit as you consider options.
  3. Think young. According to a recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research, the younger a company is, the more jobs they create - regardless of their size. While startups account for only 3% of employment, they account for 20% of new job creation! Expand your search beyond the well-established, big companies and open yourself up to the possibilities that exist with newer, innovative growth firms.
  4. Talk to your peeps. Personal and professional networks were useful for a whopping 65% of job seekers according to a recent LinkedIn survey. If you’re not leveraging relationships with friends, neighbors and former colleagues for help in your search you’re missing out on opportunities.
  5. Retake Interviewing 101. As an experienced professional, you’ll likely be interviewed with competency based questions - much different than the interview questions which landed you your first job. Are you prepared to handle those questions with confidence? If not, it’s time to sharpen your skills and take some practice.

While 2016 may hold tremendous opportunities for you to advance your career, don’t be complacent. Having many options to choose from doesn’t mean you’ll get that job you really want - unless you work at it.

We can all learn a little from MLB Triple Crown winning hitter Miguel Cabrera, who studies video in addition to taking batting practice, just to understand pitchers’ tendencies. He is reported to have the ability to remember pitch patterns from at-bats a half-decade ago, recognizing a pitch as soon as it leaves a pitcher's hand. Yet as amazing as his performance is at the plate, he still only gets a hit 34% of the time.

Getting up to the plate doesn’t get you the job. However, like Cabrera, your chances of landing that job improve greatly when you practice, develop a strategy and execute it.

For more tips on how to improve your marketability in 2016, sign on to receive our quarterly newsletter by emailing a request to Welsh and Associates.

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