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As Job Growth Data Fluctuates, It’s A Good Time To Hone Your Job Seeking Skills

Employment growth eased last month with the leisure and hospitality sectors slowing down and the retail, transportation and warehousing sectors experiencing actual declines. In fact, June 2023 was the slowest month for job creation in the past 30 months.

This was in stark contrast to the month prior, which showed strong growth and what financial experts called a “stunningly” strong labor market. Professional and business services led the job gains in May.

The takeaway? The job market, while in good overall health, will in all likelihood continue to be wobbly. Employers are trying to meet consumer demand and shifting sentiments while dealing with the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes intended to quash inflation.

So, if you think you’re at risk of losing your current job, or are seeking to enter, re-enter or change your job within the workforce, now is the perfect time to refine your job search strategy and strengthen those job seeking muscles to best position yourself for success.

Job Searching Tips From Top Career Experts

Stay connected, advises Lewis Maleh. The founder and CEO of executive search firm Bentley Lewis believes successful job searches are predicated on relationships. Meg Herrmann agrees. The managing director at RBC Capital Markets stresses the importance of establishing and maintaining authentic relationships with colleagues, employees and bosses at every job, even after you leave. Make a note in your calendar to touch base with key contacts – just a quick text or message via social media – at least every few months. These relationships, and their connections, will likely come in handy when you’re looking for your next opportunity.

Make LinkedIn your friend. Did you know that 8 people are hired through LinkedIn every minute? With nearly 900 million users and more than 58 million registered companies around the world, consider LinkedIn one of the most effective tools in your job search arsenal. The platform has more than 15 million open jobs and is regularly used by 87% of all recruiters. Now that we’ve all become experts at virtual networking, think of LinkedIn as a modern-day cocktail party, suggests Maleh.

Become a tech geek. Make it easy for recruiters to find you by becoming proficient in as many social media and networking platforms as possible, recommends Maleh. This may mean learning how to use Meta’s new Threads platform or becoming more active on X Corp (the platform formerly known as Twitter!) Thanks to virtual and hybrid work environments, headhunters have a much bigger pond to fish from these days because the physical location of the candidate is less important. Maleh says the ability of headhunters to recruit globally has created a sort of “speed dating” mentality so candidates should join as many platforms as possible to increase their chances of being noticed.

Find your inner storyteller. One of the best ways to be memorable, showcase your authentic self and highlight your competency and likability is through storytelling. Practice ways to answer interviewers’ questions with a story that reflects something you did, the way you think or how you handled a situation. Creating video that you post on LinkedIn or other social media platforms is also a great way to tell your story. Remember, it’s more effective to show someone your strengths and skills rather than to simply tell them. And it doesn’t have to be fancy or showy – being authentic is particularly important these days since so many of our interactions are still virtual.

Do your homework. If there is a company that you’re interested in, put on your private detective hat and find out everything you can about it, says Bentley Lewis’s talent acquisition specialist Kelly O’Hara. Scour social media, video interviews, press releases, marketing materials and other communications. It’s important to understand a company’s mission, its values, what kind of people they employ, whom you might know who works there, how they value women, the composition of the c-suite and board and even their dress code. If you have the opportunity to meet with the company, you’ll have an easier time connecting and they’ll be impressed with your level of preparation.

Understand that finding the perfect job IS a job, advises Herrmann. Maleh suggests creating a daily schedule, much like you would at work, and sticking to it. This may include allocating time daily to researching the industry, the companies in it, their employees and their culture. It’s also important to allocate time to engaging on social media. “Start the conversation,” advises Maleh. “You’ll be surprised at who notices your comments and who starts to respond.” And don’t forget to schedule some time for a little self care. A walk around the block, a trip to the gym or a cup of coffee with friends will serve you well.

Jane Hanson, Bentley Lewis Advisor
Learn more about Bentley Lewis

*Original Article: ForbesWomen by Jane Hanson