If you've ever thought about exploring a new career or leaving your job – now is the time.
According to Monster's "Future of Work" global report, which included responses from 3,000 business leaders in September, 93% of employers plan to hire in 2022. Salaries are expected to increase across several industries, too: Companies are dedicating 3.9% of their payroll budgets to raises this year, the Conference Board reported from its November survey of 240 U.S. businesses.
"This is a really great time to be a job-seeker – you're in the driver's seat," LinkedIn career expert Andrew McCaskill tells CNBC Make It. "There's millions of open positions, and companies are considering all kinds of incentives to recruit folks – job seekers have a lot more ability to negotiate, and can really take advantage of this moment to get what they want from their jobs."
Searching for a new job can be exciting, but it can also be intimidating. You might find yourself constantly refreshing your email, waiting for an update from a recruiter, or getting stage fright right before an interview.
These strategies, from McCaskill and Monster career expert Vicki Salemi, will boost your confidence and help you nail the job search:
Set up job alerts
There's a trick for standing out in the application process, and it's all about timing: be first and fast.
"If you see a job that interests you, do not wait more than 24 hours to send in your application," Salemi tells CNBC Make It. "Ideally, you want to apply the same day."
Being one of the first candidates to respond to a job posting "gives you a super edge in finding a great opportunity," McCaskill adds. LinkedIn data collected in August 2020 shows that you're four times more likely to hear back about a position if you apply within the first 10 minutes – so it helps to be quick.
You can set up job alerts to be emailed to your inbox for positions that fit your preferred job title, field, location and salary expectations on Monster, LinkedIn and other job search platforms like Indeed.
'Know what you want – and why'
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your job search is not knowing what you're looking for in your next role, or what your deal breakers are.
"Be really clear about why you're making a career change – is it because you're unhappy at work? Or are you craving a change because the world is crazy right now?" McCaskill says. "Once you know what you want, what you don't want and why, it makes it a lot easier to be really intentional about your job search."
It's important to avoid "throwing your resume up against the wall and seeing what sticks," McCaskill adds. Recruiters can sense if a candidate "isn't serious," he warns, if you mass-applied to jobs at the same company, or sent in a generic, rushed application.
To determine what your wants and deal-breakers are, McCaskill suggests asking yourself a series of questions:
- What do I need from work?
- What are my values?
- What role do I want work to play in my life?
- Is my job work or is it my passion?
Expand your network
If you're hitting a wall in your job hunt, reaching out to other professionals who work in your field or have careers that you admire can help you find inspiration and often lead to new opportunities.
Salemi recommends reaching out to your school's career office, any alumni associations you're a member of, friends, relatives or tapping social media to find new connections.
"Twitter is a great place for networking conversations," she says. "You can send someone a message mentioning that a recent post resonated with you, that it's a topic you're fascinated by, and ask if they have 15 minutes to chat about their work sometime over the next few weeks."
During a networking call, there's a few questions you should ask the person to improve your job search approach:
- What do you know now about the industry that you wish you knew when you started?
- Are there any online lectures, talks, certifications or online programs you would recommend?
- What skills do I need to succeed in this role, or for the career I want to pursue?
Even when you face rejection, or start to lose patience during the job search, keeping an open mind and positive attitude will get you one step closer to landing your dream role. "Always be willing to learn, and stay focused on your end-goal," Salemi says. "You might discover a new job that you hadn't considered pursuing before, that could make you really happy."
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