As the economy continues to slowly improve, the job market is showing positive signs for job-seekers. While the unemployment rate dropped to 7.7 percent in November, many still find themselves unemployed and searching for new jobs, or passively looking for better opportunities. Randstad, the second largest HR services and staffing company in the world, has compiled a few tips to help boost individuals' job search success.
Don't discount holiday networking
The holiday season presents numerous networking opportunities. Personal and business-related parties and charitable events are opportunities to socialize with existing contacts and make new connections in a relaxed atmosphere. Whether or not individual events are conducive to speaking about career goals and aspirations, they can open the doors to follow-up conversations. Similarly, the holidays are a good time to reconnect. Reach out to a mentor or former colleague and make plans to catch-up for an informal lunch or coffee after the New Year.
Be open to temporary or contract positions
According to the Randstad Workforce 360 Study, 67 percent of companies are currently using contingent workers in some capacity and most say that contingent workers comprise a steady or increasing percentage of their overall employee populations. The same study found that temporary and contract employees also have higher job satisfaction (86%) compared to permanent workers (73%). The most important thing you need to do is get your foot in the door. Once you are in, make yourself indispensable so they do not want to lose you.
Be strategic about your job search
When building a job search strategy, research the fastest-growing careers in your target industry. If the target industry is technology, it is helpful to know that IT spending is expected to exceed $2 trillion in 2013, according to research firm IDC. Mobile devices represent 57 percent of that growth, and accordingly, career opportunities in software development for mobile apps and enterprise application integration are expected to increase.
It's still all about who you know
There are currently 12.1 million people who are unemployed and only 3.6 million vacant positions in the United States, according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics. Many applicants rely on job board websites where hundreds of people may apply to each post. If you have specific companies in mind, dig deep into your own personal network. You'd be surprised to see the number of companies you are actually linked-in to through your second and third degree connections.
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