2014 has been a solid year for job seekers.
The U.S. economy grew at a 4.6 percent rate in the second quarter and job growth averaged more than 200,000 a month, up significantly from last year. Q2 was the nation’s strongest quarter since 2011 based on gross domestic product, the broadest measure of goods and services produced. Companies showed increasing confidence in their long-term outlooks, which bodes well for continued employment opportunities.
What were the hottest topics for those looking for work in 2014?
Not surprisingly, interest was high in areas related to making a career change. For instance, what are the pros and cons of quitting your job? What does your employment history say about you when you list it on your resume or discuss it in an interview? And how do you effectively search while still employed?
Leaving your job is a big deal, regardless of the economy. If you have your next position lined up, be sure that the culture, work environment and transition will succeed as you envisioned. If you’re facing unemployment, you must fully prepare from a financial standpoint.
- Explore options. Socially and personally network to get a feel for the overall market. Then you can make a realistic plan and develop any skills you sense may be lacking.
- Unless you have a better job lined up, take a hard look at your finances. A general rule of thumb is allowing one month of search time for every $10,000 you earn. Also consider your continued health care coverage and other benefit needs.
Your employment history should enable a prospective employer to quickly tell how long you’ve performed duties and realized accomplishments relevant to the job being offered.
- Ensure the best possible results. Be sure all information is truthful and accurate. Emphasize your value by showing that you’ve consistently produced critical, measurable results.
- Make it reader friendly. Use a combination of short paragraphs and bullets on this section of your resume. Paragraphs describe the scope of job responsibilities, while bullets draw attention to specific achievements while giving the eye a place to rest.
- If you have employment gaps, use a functional resume format. While dates cannot be omitted, this allows you to place emphasis on your strengths, experiences and talents.
Experts agree that conducting a job search while you’re employed is the best approach since it makes you more attractive to potential employers. But you walk a fine line as you balance current work responsibilities with future plans.
- Keep it quiet. Use your own phone, email and computer and schedule calls and interviews on off hours. It only takes a single slip-up to alert your manager or coworkers to your plans.
- Be careful with your resume. Explain that your search is confidential. Even providing your resume to be privately circulated can be risky.
Will your 2015 resolution be a new job? For the professional recruiters at PrideStaff Fresno, every candidate is a valued customer and every search is an adventure. Contact us to learn more about how you can not only search, but succeed as you advance your career in the year ahead.