Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

What Do You Need To Know About the 2012 Job Market?

If you have been keeping up with Spark News lately, it’s not difficult to see that the Spark News team is excited about the climbing, improving job market. Excited to see it spark back to life, if you will. As January approached, it was important to give job seekers fresh tips for their 2012 job search, as with a new year things have changed. Therefore, it may be equally as important to give job seekers insight into what has changed in the job market as 2012 kicks off.

Apparently, January is the busiest month for hiring since new budgets are available. HR departments across industries will get busy and knowing what has changed can give you an advantage against your competition. The Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch released a list of 10 things job seekers should know about the changing market and Spark News believed it to be beneficial enough to pass along. Take a look at Market Watch’s insights and be ready to plunge head first into the new market with a few facts about its evolution to help you navigate the waters.

1. Things are getting better
All signs so far say that this year will be better than last in many ways. The underemployment and unemployment rates have reached thier lowest point in three years and job creation is picking up. Economists believe that about 175,000 new jobs will be created each month. Keep at your job search and don’t give up. There is a job out there for you somewhere.

2. Resume black holes haven’t disappeared
Even though more and more businesses and employers are using applicant tracking systems (ATS) to keep track of resumes coming in, there is still a chance that the resume you submitted to a company will never even be reviewed. Try and find a way to get your resume into an actual person’s hand and your chances of getting the job are obviously higher. Find new and creative ways to do this without bombarding the employer with your resume.

3. “It’s still a buyers market”
This means that there are more sellers than buyers right now. According to Market Watch, for the job market this means that employers are still looking for an exact match for what they want in a candidate. They likely won’t settle for a candidate that is “almost there” and will push on until they find exactly what they need. This means you have to be on the top of your game at all times. Almost just doesn’t count.

4. Discrimination
Unfortunately, age discrimination is still very existent in the job market. It should not be tolerated, but must be noticed and being honest about it will give you the tools you need to fight it. Simply thinking that age discrimination is a thing of the past is naive and will only hurt in the long run. If age discrimination is something you think you have fallen victim to, face it and fight it.

5. Get the most out of your resume
Having your resume drawn up by a professional can only be beneficial to you. It will come at a cost to you, but think of it as an investment. Spend a little extra now on boosting and improving your resume so you can make the big dollars when you snag that job you wanted. You may think your resume is top-notch, but there is always room for improvement and improvement never hurt anyone.

6. Patience
Ah, yes. Patience, patience, patience. Spark News greatly expresses this tip and apparently so does Market Watch. The entire hiring process takes a lot of time. If you think about it from the employers perspective, they only have a small amount of materials to judge their candidates and hopefully pick the correct and best fit. If they make a mistake, they will likely have to go through the entire process again in three months. Therefore, employers take their time reviewing, interviewing and hiring employees. Be patient and understand the process from their end, too. It may take a couple of days or even weeks for them to get back to you, but don’t be pushy. That won’t help you get the job.

7. Don’t shy away from old job posts
It’s typical for a job seeker to ignore the job posts that are already two to three weeks old. The general idea is, if the job post is that old they probably already filled it or have thousands of resumes to rifle through. That may be true, but what if all of those resumes lack the candidate they need and none of the interviews worked? If it’s a job you are truly interested in, don’t neglect it simply because it is an old posting. Until it is taken down, it’s fair game.

8. Hidden markets hold hidden gems
In your job search, look for companies that are expanding and growing such as startup companies. Take any job there that can get your foot in the door. Of course, any job within reason. Since the company is growing, you’ll have more job security and you can eventually find your place in the company where your true skills can be put to use in the position you truly seek.

9. Technology
Keep up with the new technology in your field. If there is a new device, technology or software that can benefit your industry or field and you don’t know it, someone else out there does and they will get the job before you.

10. All jobs are temporary
This one might be difficult for many job seekers to understand, especially well-seasoned and experienced ones. In these days, Sally no longer works for Company ABC for 25 years, working her way up from the bottom. Lifetime job security is a thing of the past and it’s now the norm for workers to hop from job to job over the years and work with several different companies. Of course, there are still those that do keep the same position for years upon years, but you will see less and less of them. As Market Watch states, “you need to plan ahead, keep your skills sharp, and always, always be learning.”

SOURCE: Market Watch
IMAGE: Courtesy of Military Veteran Job News

Nicole Nicholson

Nicole is the Content Editor for Spark Hire and mainly writes for and edits the work for the Spark News blog. She graduated in 2010 with a BA in Journalism from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois. She has a passion for writing, editing, and pretty much anything to do with content. In her free time she frequents the Chicago music scene and writes reviews on shows for her own personal blog. Connect with Nicole and Spark Hire on Facebook and Twitter