There’s no better time to find a job. The unemployment rate remains at a 17-year low, and employers are eager to hire. Nearly 45 percent of employers plan to hire full-time, permanent staff in 2018—up from 40 percent last year.
In the words of CareerBuilder CEO Matt Ferguson: “I think 2018 will be the best year since the recession. Almost half the companies said they will increase hiring and a lot of that will be in the first quarter.”
So how do you take advantage of today’s favorable job market?
The first step is to leverage your connections. Even with social media becoming a staple of any job search, most people still get a job through someone they personally know. Connections are invaluable. Use them to land a phone interview or, at the very least, figure out where to start looking.
Social media has only made it easier. Experts suggest keeping your LinkedIn and Facebook profiles not only up to date, but also ready for employers to come looking. To that end, represent yourself professionally. Stay away from controversial posts—including political or religious commentary—because employers often consider opinionated content a red flag.
Differentiate yourself in other ways. More than 70 percent of U.S. employees are “actively looking for new job opportunities,” which means more competition for you. Before you submit a resume or cover letter, double- or triple-check your writing and screen for typos. If you’re filling out a questionnaire, answer it creatively, but with an eye for the employer’s needs.
Many job-seekers fail to consider what the employer’s specifically looking for, focusing exclusively on themselves. Stand out from the crowd by putting yourself in the employer’s shoes.