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Employers are Hiring! Are you Ready?

In another sign that we are continuing to recover from recession, job openings have reached a 14-year high. Here’s what that means for job seekers, as reported in the Wall Street Journal:

“The uptick in workplace openings meant that there were around 1.8 unemployed workers in November for every opening, the lowest ratio in almost 7 years. At the worst point in the recession, there were nearly 7 unemployed workers for every available job opening.”

So … great news! They’re looking for you, so you’d better be ready to take advantage.

That means:

  • Understanding what employers are looking for. As I’ve written, I’m not a big believer in job boards, but one thing they are great for is getting a feel for the “hot” skills and attributes for the jobs you’re pursuing.
  • Matching your skills, achievements, knowledge, experience, and expertise to the employer’s needs. Do you deeply understand your value to your next employer? Simply having a skill or qualification isn’t enough. You’ve got to show that you have used that skill to generate revenue, profit, performance gain, customer satisfaction, or some other quantifiable benefit.
  • Getting in on the ground floor when hiring starts. You want to be on the radar screen at your target companies long before an opening is announced. Then, become a referred and recommended candidate – a known source – rather than a stranger applying along with hundreds of other strangers.
  • Responding quickly to leads and referrals. Finally, employers appear to be moving more quickly, after years of very slow hiring cycles. So don’t let the grass grow under your feet, either. Have your resume, cover letter, bio, LinkedIn profile, and introductory email messages polished and ready to go with just a quick customization if needed.

If you’ve been looking for a while and have gotten discouraged, now’s the time to shake yourself off and dive back in – with energy and enthusiasm.

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