The national unemployment rate dipped to 8.1 percent in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Unfortunately, a recent Washington Post story pointed out that even as this rate fell in April, fewer jobs were being created across the nation. If you’re looking for new work, this means one thing: The best job search advice is to treat looking for work as a full-time job.
This means that you can’t neglect any tools available to you – everything from conducting a social media job search to boosting your more traditional networking efforts – to find a job today.
According to the Washington Post story, the U.S. economy added just 115,000 new jobs during the month of April. So how did the national unemployment rate fall even when the country didn’t create enough new jobs to handle job seekers just entering the market?
Opting Out of the Job Search
Simply put, a growing number of people have opted out of the jobs market. In other words, they’ve given up trying to find work today. According to the Washington Post story, the labor force participation rate – which tracks this sort of thing – found that the number of U.S. residents who either hold a job or are looking for one dropped by 342,000 in April.
Combine the fall in the labor force participation rate and the admittedly meager addition of new jobs to the economy, and you end up with a national unemployment rate that barely fell from 8.2 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April.
Jobs Market Remains a Challenging One
That small dip gave the country its lowest unemployment rate since January of 2009. Unfortunately, it’s still extremely challenging to land a job in today’s market. That’s why job seekers can’t afford to ignore any options they have to find a new job.
This means conducting a LinkedIn job search, using the LinkedIn business social media site to contact business associates and ask for their advice, leads and recommendations. It also means using other sites such as Facebook and Twitter to tell contacts that you’re actively seeking to make a career change.
The Job Search Toolbox
It means networking in person by scheduling lunches and after-hours meetings with former co-workers and bosses to see if they know of any job openings that haven’t been advertised online or in print. It means, too, crafting resumes that clearly outline your career accomplishments, and practicing clear and clever answers to potential job interview questions.
Another good piece of job search advice? You might benefit from job search training. And one way to get it is by signing up for our Get Hired Bootcamp. Our career counselors can help you refine your job search skills to boost your odds of finding satisfying work this year.