Monday, June 20, 2016

Why NOW! is the Best Time To Look for a Job!

I have some goods news for you and some bad news for you.

The good news is that right now, unemployment is the lowest it has been in 10 years.  And, that means it is a great time to get a better job - one with better pay or perks, or both.

     In a recent article in MSN Money, Caroline Baum asks, "Have Businesses Really Run Out of People to Hire?"  And Rich Miller of Bloomberg News notes that "It's becoming harder and harder to attract people to do those entry level jobs..."

      The Labor Department reported on June 8 that job openings rose to 5.8 million in April from 5.7 million in March. That tied last July’s results as the highest since records began in 2000. Hires, meanwhile, fell to 5.1 million, from 5.3 million.

      To put this very simply, it means you have 5.1 million people hired out of 5.8 million job openings.  And, although 700,000 job openings isn't huge when you spread it all over the country, it still portends a problem for businesses. 

      The bad news is that right now, unemployment is low, and that means that there are other folks out there looking to get a better job.  They are competing with you to get the attention of hiring managers so they can get interviewed and to get job offers.

      Now, you may look at all that I just said, and reply, "So how is now different than any other time I have been looking for a job?"

      That is an excellent question.  And I have some very good answers.

      First, because unemployment is low, it means that there are more jobs than job seekers.  Although this may not be true in a specific industry, it is a reality of the broader market.

Getting a job is the first step toward getting the job you want.

      Having unfilled jobs tends to make hiring managers cranky, and sometimes a bit desperate.  One of them might take a chance on you even if you're not the ideal candidate for their job.  This means you should feel more confident about applying for jobs where your qualifications may be a bit marginal.  Be bold and swing for the fences.

Taking a less than ideal job can be the best thing to do for your career.

      Just because you take a job that isn't really the one you want, it doesn't lock you into that for the rest of your life (or even for a year).  If you are currently unemployed, or underemployed, don't be afraid to take a job while you are looking for the job you want. 

      When your ideal employer asks about your current employment situation (which may not even be on your resume), tell them (the truth), "I have temporary employment while I am looking for the sort of role where I can make a greater contribution."

      If the job you take while looking for the job you want relates to your chosen field, then, by all means, put it on your resume and explain to your prospective employer that you are "exploring areas related to your main area of expertise so that you can broaden your knowledge and experience base in your field."

      If the current job in no way relates to the job you want, then don't worry about putting it on your resume, although it will end up on any job application you fill out.

Not having a job makes it harder to get a job.

      When a hiring manager interviews you and finds out that you are unemployed, especially in a candidate-scarce job market, the first thing they ask themselves is, "if no one else wants this guy/gal, why should I?"  The second thing they ask themselves is, "what is wrong with this candidate if they cannot get a job right now when candidates are scarce and jobs are plenty?"

      Neither of those are questions you want them asking themselves or anyone else.

      So, broaden your definition of an acceptable job and take one. Ideally, the job you take will relate to your chosen field.  If not, don't despair.

      Regardless of whether the job you take is unrelated or related to the job you want, being employed lets a prospective employer know that you are employable.  That way, they don't ask themselves those two pesky questions I mentioned above.

      Also, because you already have a job, they assume you aren't desperate.  Meaning they cannot safely give you a "take it or leave it" job offer.  Because, since you aren't desperate, you can "leave it" and they will still have an unfilled role and the lower productivity that goes along with that.

      Instead, they want to know what will it take to lure you away from your current position.

      The lack of desperation on your part gives you more leverage to negotiate.  Ask for everything you want, full-time work, benefits, pay, etc.  The worst that will happen is they will say "No" and drop you as a candidate.  In which case you are no worse off than when you came in the door.  The best that will happen is they will give you all or part of what you ask.  And that will leave you much better off than when you walked in their door.

      PS: If you need help on your resume or job search, drop a line to me at  I will be happy to help you.  The first consultation is free.

      Tom Sheppard has helped hundreds of people to get and keep the job they want.  If you would like personal help from Tom in your job search needs go to

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