By Lindsay Olson
Would it be optimistic to say we're heading out of the recession that has buried the U.S. employment outlook for the past few years? In November 2012 the unemployment rate was 7.7 percent, at its lowest since February 2009, so it seems there is hope after all.
If you're a job seeker deciding to brave the job market in 2013, realize that the market has certainly changed over the past few years. Because employers still have a pretty good selection of job candidates—not to mention a large number of applicants—they're being a little picky about who they hire right now. Position yourself correctly and you'll be the lucky winner of a new job.
Kevin Marasco, chief marketing officer of HireVue, has a few tips for finding a new career this year:
1. Make social media work for you. It's no secret that recruiters and employers are hopping online to find out more about potential job candidates. But they're also looking on social media sites to find future employees before they've posted positions.
By having a basic presence on social sites, you're still neck-and-neck with your competitors, but if you use your social tools smartly, you can stand out. Join LinkedIn groups in your industry or specialty and share relevant content. Don't just be there: make your voice heard.
2. Open yourself to the idea of working remotely. Surprisingly, many people don't want to work from home. Some crave the socialization that comes with working in an office with others. But don't discount it just yet. As employers realize the fiscal benefits that come with supporting a virtual staff rather than one in-house, there are more remote positions opening up. Ignore them to your detriment.
3. Remember, compensation is more than just what is on your paycheck. Top performers may not be able to command the high level salaries they might have pre-recession. But don't turn away a job just because you think you're worth more money. Consider the other benefits of working for a given company; for instance, does it offer tuition reimbursement? If your future employer would pay for you to get a graduate degree, that alone is worth tens of thousands of dollars in education costs plus the increase in salary you may command with an advanced degree.
Does the employer allow working from home? You'll save on commute and lunch costs. Does it pay top dollar for health benefits? Again, big savings potential. Will you have the opportunity to put a well-known employer on your resume that you may leverage for the rest of your professional career? Priceless.
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