What Today’s Job Market Is Really Like – And How You Can Use It To Your Advantage

Do the alarming headlines and rumors about today’s job market have you concerned?

The job market has seen major changes since the beginning of 2020 and even since the beginning of 2023! But the outlook for job seekers remains very positive.

Recently Britt Larsen of Livlyhood and Angela Ashurst-McGee of Upword Resume sat down to share what we’re seeing in the job market and what it means for your career.

First a quick recap:

Remember how hiring froze in 2020? HR teams were scrambling with the transition to remote workforces, and layoffs were happening left and right. But the job market bounced back in 2021. By January 2022, we were in the midst of the Great Resignation. The US saw historic numbers of job openings. We had clients get double or even triple their salaries in new roles!

In the second half of 2022, the picture didn’t look quite as rosy. We’re seeing frequent headlines about high inflation and a possible soft recession. The frantic hiring of the Great Resignation seems to have slowed, and we’re seeing some clients facing layoffs or rescinded job offers.

The first quarter of 2023 saw major layoffs, especially in the tech sector. Even so, the job market remains one of the brightest spots in the overall economic picture. Hiring numbers still remain very high while unemployment remains near record lows. That means job seekers have lots of opportunities to find new positions. We’re still seeing clients land positions that double (or more!) their salaries.

We’re also seeing trends for job seekers to get more creative when it comes to approaching the job search and application process. The same goes for companies seeking candidates with a greater focus on culture-fit over straight experience.

Read on for our top tips for navigating the 2022 job market

Be Resume Ready

We’re hearing from more and more clients who need resume help, like, now. You never know when an associate or colleague will reach out with a great opportunity. Or when your company will open a new position.

Stay resume ready so you’re prepared for a job search, a promotion, or salary negotiations. A resume is documentation for a company to assess your value-add and potential ROI.

We also recommend keeping your LinkedIn profile updated–using keywords that capture your hard skills. Recruiters use LinkedIn heavily for candidate sourcing, so if your profile is up-to-date, they might see that you’re just what they’re looking for.

Get On A Recruiter’s Radar

LinkedIn has made it much easier to connect with people in your target industry and specific companies. This paves the way for a successful job search or career pivot.

  • Spend at least 10-15 minutes every day on the platform. The algorithm learns more about your interests and builds up relevance for what you’re looking for and allows you to appear in more relevant searches.
  • Don’t be shy. Message recruiters on LinkedIn, pay attention to their news, react to their products, use their products, etc. Recruiters tell us that they appreciate authentic engagement from good candidates.

Allow for a longer lead time

The hiring process has drastically changed since the pandemic. We’re seeing that companies are leaving applications open longer–some take three, four, or even six weeks to respond to an application. But once you hear back from a company, they may move very quickly to make a final decision and make a job offer. (Hence the need to stay Resume Ready!)

  • Keep applying! Even if your job search has dragged on or if it looks like you already have a good lead, keep your application pipeline full, applying for new jobs as you go. It’s important to sustain your momentum.
  • We recommend applying for 10 jobs a week–that’s two job openings per day. And if you need a new job fast, double or triple that.

We get it. Feeling rejected during the job search can take its toll. But remember– you’re not going to be a good fit for everyone. Not hearing back or getting a rejection isn’t a reflection on your worth!
Having a resume that makes you look amazing helps with your emotional resilience during the process.

Best Practices to Update Your Resume to Reach the Next Step in Your Career

Make your resume forward-looking

Include short summary at the top of your resume that reflects where your career is going and where you want to land next. Your resume shouldn’t be a time capsule–it’s your tool to push you forward to your next step. What you’ve done in the past should reflect forward to your next step and paint a picture of your career trajectory. 

Tailor your resume for the job description.

Tailor your resume to reflect relevant experiences based on your target job. This requires tweaking your resume each time you send it out to make it ATS–friendly. You can even include projects that are in process. Go here to learn how to get current projects on your resume right now.

Use storytelling in your resume

Show how your career progression led you to where you are now. Highlight transferable experience. It’s not necessarily a disadvantage if you’ve been at one company for several years or if you’ve had to take a break from the workforce to maybe raise a family or for other reasons. It’s all about how those experiences factor into how you can contribute to the company. 

  1. Current, recent experiences – these should be beefy, lengthy, and really strong including more details that highlight your accomplishments.
  2. Older jobs – since these are likely lower level or less relevant, these can include fewer bullet points.

Bottom line: Finding the right company is all about finding the right fit. And that search for the right fit goes both ways. You’re not the desperate supplicant as the job seeker–you are the gift that can help solve somebody’s problem.

To watch the whole conversation between Britt and Angela, go here.
And for more information on how Livlyhood and Upword Resume work together, check out our ALTITUDE Bundle.