The March employment numbers recently released by Department of Labor showed the nation's unemployment rate held steady at 9.7 percent. U.S. employers created jobs at the fastest pace in three years, though the number of new jobs fell below economists' estimates and were often temporary positions. So is it time to push the pedal to the metal and look for a new job? Sure, but you should expect to encounter even more competition as the economy recovers. Corporate recruiters expect a resume tsunami as 9.1 million involuntary part-time workers start looking for full-time jobs, and even employed workers jump on the bandwagon. Still, the early birds have the best chance to score a new gig. So:
  • Search Proactively: Submit your resume and start working your contacts, even if your favorite company doesn't have any openings. Corporate recruiters don't want to be submerged by the resume tsunami, so they will turn first to referred candidates and exhaust the corporate database before posting a job opening. If you wait until a job is posted, you'll be riding the crest of the wave along with thousands of other job seekers.
  • Stay Active: Unemployed job seekers on the Dice discussion boards are frustrated because many job postings request a massive number of technical competencies. This is common during the early stages of an economic recovery, as employers expect to find an ample number of unemployed candidates who possess all of those skills. A recent survey pool indicates many of those jobs will not be filled without compromise. Throw your hat in the ring and stay in touch, because if the job remains open, employers will either peel back the requirements or hire two people to handle the responsibilities.
  • Anticipate Openings: Industries that laid off large numbers of employees will be the first to hire. Timing is everything, so be on the lookout for companies that have cut to the bone and have no where to go but up.
-- Leslie Stevens-Huffman