As the economy continues to recover both nationally and locally, millions still can’t find jobs. Economists are saying the U.S. economy is back at full employment after more than a decade. “Full employment” is a phrase economists use to explain how the job market recovers from a recession. Full employment does not mean zero unemployment; there will always be people without a job. It operates on the belief that people who want a job will be able to find a job and employers who need workers will be able to draw them. Economists believe a healthy job market has an unemployment rate somewhere between 4.6% and 5%.
The phrase “full employment” doesn’t tell the full story for millions still out of work or who are looking for something better than part-time work. While it’s difficult to determine why so many people have been without a job for so long, Doretha Jamison, the Employment Manager at METEC provides tips to help many expand their employment abilities and end their job drought. METEC has been successful with helping hundreds obtain work since launching their employment training program in 2011.
Doretha states when you haven’t looked for a job in a while, a job search can be intimidating. Searching for a job is a full-time job. One of the biggest things to consider is how much the job search has changed since the last time you looked for employment.
Have a Strong Resume: The days of the “generic” resume are gone. A resume that is not tailored towards a specific type of position is a “career obituary.” A resume must reflect the potential you have to offer to a prospective employer and how your specific experience, education, and skills can benefit the company or organization.
The old “objective” statement at the top of the resume has been replaced with an “executive summary” or “qualifications profile” that immediately showcases who you are and what you have to offer a prospective employer. Objective statements were about what you wanted; the new summary is about what you can do for the employer.
Build a Network: Networking is actually more important in a modern job search than ever before. Your resume won’t do all the work in getting you a job. It’s not who you know; it’s who knows you. More importantly, who knows your work. It doesn’t mean you must have hundreds of friends on Facebook or attend networking events each week. Instead, you need to be strategic about making connections with people who can help you get the job you want. Whether that means creating a LinkedIn profile and connecting with previous co-workers and participating in LinkedIn Groups for those in your industry or letting a close circle of friends know that you’re looking for a new opportunity. It’s about identifying the people you already know who can help introduce you to the people you need to know in order to move forward with your job search.
As part of building a network, consider volunteering your time and expertise to a nonprofit organization or mentoring youth in your field of expertise. It’s a way of staying busy, and you will have something to talk about during your interview when asked what you’ve been up to lately. Research indicates that more than 40% of job seekers identify networking as the reason they found their most recent job.