Job openings on the rise

Earlier this month, The Wall Street Journal’s Real Time Economics blog posted a story reporting that the number of job openings reached a 13-year high in June. Further, they reported that more Americans quit there jobs in that month than in any month since June of 2008, and they interpret that information as meaning that people were moving up to better jobs. This suggests that the new jobs are not just part-time jobs at Walmart and McDonalds—many of them are good, full-time positions. While this is certainly good news, it does not necessarily mean that those of you looking for a job will find that your job search has gotten easier.

What it does mean is that the process may be less frustrating, as long as you do it well. As I discuss in my book, there are steps you must take to be successful at finding the right job, and I’m going to highlight a few of them here. Keep in mind that there are 51 tips in my book, so this is just a few tastes from the buffet.

  1. As I discussed last week, be sure that your LinkedIn profile is current and complete and that you have joined groups, made contacts, and done research about organizations that interest you. (See Tip 24: Create a profile on LinkedIn before you graduate and Appendix G: Creating your profile on LinkedIn.)
  2. Narrow your focus so that you’re only going to the effort of applying for jobs for which you are qualified and that you would accept if offered. You’re wasting your time and that of prospective employers if you don’t read the requirements for each job carefully. Recognize the difference between qualifications that are “required” and “preferred.” (See Tip 36: Read job ads and position descriptions carefully.) Also, give a great deal of thought to where you want to work—not just the type of organization, but also the geographical location. (See all five tips in Step 2: Envision a satisfying worklife.)
  3. Remember that more people found jobs in the U.S. last year through the friend of a friend than from any other source! That means you MUST build your network, and make sure everyone in your network knows what type of job you’re looking for. The 14 tips in Step 3: Create a network give you a wealth of suggestions for how to build your network.
  4. Make sure that every interaction with a potential employer is professional. From the very first possibility—perhaps an information interview (see Tip 6: Conduct information interviews), perhaps a resume (see Tip 38: Create or update your resume and Appendix I: Creating a resume)—everything you say must be appropriate and everything you write must be perfect.
  5. Stay on top of every interaction. Know what you’ve sent and to whom you’ve sent it. Appendix M: Keeping track of your applications provides a list of questions that will allow you to quickly and easily respond to any phone calls or messages from prospective employers.
  6. With job opportunities on the rise, the chance that you really can find a job you want and start the career of your dreams is becoming more and more likely. Make sure that employers recognize your capabilities and give you a chance.