The Truth About the Job Market

The truth about the job market by MJ Feld - Careers by Choice, Long IslandAs a career counselor and résumé writing expert in New York, the question I am most often asked is “How is the Job Market?” There are several aspects to this question.

The strength of the job market is often gauged holistically by the U.S. unemployment rate, but that means almost nothing to an individual job seeker. It is a more telling piece of information in an assessment of the U.S. economy.

The strength of the job market you face is largely based on what type of work you are looking for and often your geographic because not everyone is a remote worker or can stay that way.

Let’s appreciate the geographic aspect first. In a recent article published by the New York Times (March 8, 2024), 80% of us work fully in person and another approximately 12% work in hybrid roles. Therefore, most employment remains local.

According to a LinkedIn analysis (April 15, 2024), the most in-demand jobs, assessed by the number of job posts on its platform are sales, software engineering, nursing jobs, project managers, sales managers, customer service representatives, business analysts, full-stack engineers, data engineers, and IT-adjacent jobs. And yet, I read other job reports that say tech hiring is flat or slightly down along with jobs in finance and accounting. Really? Takeaway: if you are not an economist, don’t pay attention to job reports.

Road map for a job search irrespective of the job market:

  1. Your mindset. Just because some occupations are in higher demand for workers does not translate to hardly any openings for you. If you approach and maintain your job search with optimism, you will likely be successful. Positivity has a subtle or dramatic effect on our engagement in tasks. Harness it.
  2. No unforced errors. The quality of your résumé is paramount. It competes for attention with the résumés of other candidates, some of which, or many of which, were written by highly experienced résumé writers. If you read yours and it doesn’t completely wow you, you are not playing with strong cards. When I review résumés, I sometimes see glaring problems.
  3. In-Person Work. Even if a job is marketed as fully remote, some employers like knowing employees are close enough to attend meetings. If you live close enough to do that, it could confer an advantage. Therefore, let the world know your location by including your zip code on your résumé. If you are willing to relocate, your résumé/cover letter should not only state that but indicate that the employer’s location is exactly where you want to live and that the move will be easy/expedient for you.
  4. Skill acquisition. Having truly solid skills with in-demand software (Excel, ERP, CRM, EHR, accounting, project management, and more) can enhance your job prospects. I have coached clients to acquire these skills and others so we can place them on the résumé. It has been a game-changer for some. It has never been easier to learn new software via LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, Coursera, Udacity, and other platforms. In addition to business software, certificate programs abound for all kinds of knowledge that can help you shine in the job market. One such online program is MicroMasters at MIT. While we are on the subject of skills, if you are fortunate enough to speak two languages, English and Spanish being the most marketable, this should be listed prominently on your résumé because it sets you apart. 

An effective job search is the product of effort and optimism. Hiring happens across all types of jobs and in all occupations. Though some people in high-demand occupations might have it easier, there is no need to fret. Every single obstacle you think you face in the job market is surmountable.

 

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  • Max. file size: 256 MB.