More than half of employers plan to hire in the new year, new data shows
Looking for work? This month might work out for you.
January is prime-time for job seekers, according to a new survey from CareerBuilder released on Tuesday. The survey, conducted by Harris Poll, found that 44% of employers are planning to hire full-time, permanent employees in the New Year and more than half (51%) will hire temporary employees. What’s more, a huge number of American workers — 40% — admit they’ll aim to change jobs this year, as well, creating massive numbers of job vacancies.
Consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas told Moneyish that companies publicly announced the hiring of 135,501 people last January. By contrast, just 25,765 new positions were announced in the following month. And hiring platform Mightyrecruiter found that January was routinely the busiest month for recruitment, in an analysis of the years between 2006 to 2016.
The reason? Companies have new budgets in place, and are seeking “to make that strong first quarter push,” says Amy Polefrone, CEO of HR Strategy Group in Baltimore, Md. “What happens in the first quarter determines the rest of your year,” so companies want strong talent to gear up for the year ahead.
Here’s how to position for yourself for a new job in the new year.
1. Update your resume: Keep to the basics. Include a brief personal summary at the top of your page and avoid using tables, colors, or funky fonts. Career coach Susan Ginsberg O’Sullivan says that adding your home address is equally unnecessary. Just go with your name, phone number, email address, and a LinkedIn account. And spell check to ensure you have no typos.
Meanwhile, Marc Dorio, executive coach and author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Perfect Job Interview,” recommends including your transferable skills — such as “making presentations,” “specializes in sales,” “writing and editing.” These skills can be applied to a range of different positions.
For young applicants who don’t yet have a wealth of professional experience, O’Sullivan suggests citing internships, volunteer and charity work, any relevant courses you’ve taken, and specific responsibilities you’ve held at jobs you’ve had.
2. Network properly: “Expand the line of networking” to go beyond your usual crowd, Dorio says. Instead of asking your direct circle of friends who’s hiring, show an interest in their jobs and industries, and learn about the heavy hitters they know in your chosen field. Then ask to be connected to those people even if they’re not hiring right now, so you can seed the ground for future possibilities.
O’Sullivan is a proponent of augmenting your efforts with a “networking profile” — a document listing out your major accomplishments, target positions, target industries, and even examples of the kinds of companies you’d like to work for. This goes beyond the historical record of your resumé to show what you’d like to be doing, and where you’d aim to work.
3. Use LinkedIn effectively: This isn’t exactly a resumé. O’Sullivan suggests using the first-person voice when summarizing your achievements. For instance, “my value is in helping companies achieve technology-based business information, enhancing the customer experience, increasing revenue, and reducing costs.”
When listing highlights for past positions, include quantifiable achievements such as how much money you’ve saved the company, she says.
4. Ace the interview: Prepare for both situational and interview questions. Among the most common queries are those in the vein of “tell me a time when you dealt with a difficult customer” or “explain how a project of yours succeeded or failed,” says Polefrone. She suggests practicing with a friend ahead of time.
If you’ve been out of work for a while, “you need to prepare to answer what you’ve been doing,” O’Sullivan says. This could include volunteer efforts, community service, or leading a committee at your child’s school.
Plus, this is where effective networking really helps: “You need to find out what you don’t know or what’s changed,” O’Sullivan says, so talk to people currently connected in the industry.
Finally, send a thank you email within 24 hours of your interview and perhaps even a handwritten note. You can check in with the recruiter about a week later to inquire how the process is coming along.
5. Keep at it: Sending a consistent stream of applications to various recruiters is the best way to go. As Polefrone says: “Keep in the game until you’ve signed the acceptance letter. You never know what can happen.”
This story was originally published on Dec. 28, 2017, and has since been updated with new data from CareerBuilder.
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