Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Some Good News For Job Seekers

It’s the middle of winter, the job market is as tough as it’s ever been, and job seekers need to see a glimmer of hope.

CareerBuilder just published some statistics that might be that light at the end of the tunnel for candidates.

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According to a new CareerBuilder study, 51% of workers who had been laid off in the past 12 months have found new full-time jobs, an increase from June 2009’s study which showed 48%. Counting part time reemployment, the number increases to 58%. These numbers aren’t nearly as high as they need to be, but the important sign is that they are increasing. 90% of candidates have not given up in their search.

The rest of the study showed some interesting statistics concerning how these candidates found new jobs:

  • 51% changed careers. More than half of those laid off who found new full time work, found their next job in a different field.
  • 61% of those who found new jobs negotiated an increase or kept pay levels consistent with their prior jobs, an encouraging sign
  • 26% relocated to a new area for their new job.
  • 29% of those still unemployed are investigating entrepreneurship
  • 22% found jobs through people they knew, 21% found jobs through online job boards, 11% through newspaper classifieds, 8% through recruiting/staffing firms, 5% through career fairs, and 4% through social networks. Remember, this study was conducted for CareerBuilder (owned by newspapers), so it’s not a surprise that job boards and newspapers compared well to recruiters and social media.

So what does this mean for job seekers?

Keep trying: People are finding jobs, even in the most competitive job market in our lifetimes. For ways to stay motivated during your job search, see (

Have a realistic timeframe: The majority of candidates I talk to have an unrealistic timeframe of 2-3 months. It’s great to be positive, just be rational in your planning. On average, it’s taking about 6 months for a new position, and 9-12 months for an executive role.

Consider changing careers: If you’re in a dead industry, you’re going to have a rough time searching for your next job in a crowded market. Maybe it’s time to look for something other than a job outside of the real estate industry? See ( for some ideas of how to change careers.

Consider geographic flexibility: It’s understandable why you might not want to move away from family. But if you’ve been laid off from the auto industry in Detroit, or the mortgage brokerage industry in Florida, perhaps there are easier places to find work. Broadening your scope may help.

Put more lines in the water: So many candidates rely just on their personal network, as the best way to find a job. While CareerBuilder’s study shows that it’s the best way, it accounted for less than 25%. There are many ways you might find work. Most candidates concentrate on one. In today’s hyper-competitive job market, it pays to develop many channels of job opportunities. There are many that work well, and you won’t know which channel will deliver the opportunity that’s right for you.

The statistics for job seekers are improving. What innovative job search strategies are you using to improve your own opportunities?

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Related Articles:
More Control For Job Seekers Over Their Linkedin Profile
How Effective is your Resume? Here’s how to measure: Best of reCareered

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