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Job Searching When the Unemployment Rate is Low

By Roberta Gamza, JCTC, JST, CEI 
 Founder, CAREER INK (

When the unemployment rate low, it’s a job seekers market. There are fewer people looking for jobs, so the competition is reduced. However, in a tight labor market, employees tend to job hop, so it is even more important for employers to make good hires – ones that not only have the right skills, but are also a good cultural fit. Employers are looking for hires they think will stay around and make a lasting contribution. They are taking longer to hire and putting candidates through extra interviews to ensure they’ve got the right candidate. And they are willing to sweeten the pot to entice the right candidate in a tight labor market.

Most employers have robust internal employee referral programs to assist with recruiting. In tight labor market, the employee referral system is even more important and so is your professional network. However, people have a tendency to ignore their network when the economy is strong and jobs are plentiful and only turn to it when the economy tanks, jobs are scarce, or when they are actively in the job market.

Your professional network is a living system. It is a great source of advice, information sharing, and personal introductions. It is a critical asset that must be nurtured and never neglected. If you have neglected your network, revive it and sustain it. Strengthen your LinkedIn profile and connections. Get and give recommendations and endorsements. Join and participate in groups. LinkedIn is the number one place recruiters look for candidates. Potential employers will Google you and look at your LinkedIn profile. They want to know how well you worked with your teams, peers, and customers.

When the unemployment rate is low, it’s a job seekers market. Now is the time to stretch and aim high!

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