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Spring 2021 Job Outlook: Sunny and Bright

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 It’s Friday! If you’re in the northeast, raise a glass to today’s gorgeous weather (it was 72 degrees, blue skies, and sunny in Piscataway / New Brunswick, New Jersey, after weeks of snow). Next, let’s toast something even better: a robust job market and increasingly higher wages, both of which—according to sources including the Wall Street Journal (WSJ), Emsi (a go-to source for labor and workforce data), and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)—are expected to continue on an upward trajectory.

A recent WSJ headline proclaimed, Hiring Has Restarted. Here’s What You Need to Know to Land a New Job, Now. (MBS students – you have access to a free WSJ subscription; make sure to use it!). Per Emsi’s February 2021 Labor Market Report and BLS’s February 2021 Employment Situation Summary, February 2021 saw a ton of new job postings, with daily postings in some cities outpacing February 2020 postings (pre-pandemic) by up to 30 percent.

Highlights:

  • February added 379,000 jobs.
  • On average, February 2021 saw more job postings per day than just last month (January 2021).
  • National advertised wages rose 16% over the past year.

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If you’re job-hunting, here are some quick tips excerpted from the WSJ article:

  1. Resume Review: Increase Your Odds. Before a human reads your resume,  it will need to pass through non-human filters such as iCIMS. Adding keywords—terms most relevant to the job you’re seeking—is essential. Read the job description, and check it twice. Note the keywords and use them in your resume. Also note: you will likely need multiple resumes tailored for different positions.
  2. "Spreadsheet Your Work:" If you’re in a highly competitive field and plan to apply to multiple jobs en masse, experts recommend optimizing your search by tracking key dates, documents, and points of contact throughout the process.
  3. Network, Network, Network. We’ve said it before, the WSJ article seconds it, and we’ll say it again: Network, network, network to succeed in 2021. Bonus: here’s great career advice from MBS alums.
  4. Don’t hesitate. Timing is of the essence. A singular day could make the difference between a job being open or filled, says Scott Bonneau, vice president of global talent attraction at Indeed. Solution: have resumes and cover letters ready to go, and set alerts on Indeed and other sites for when relevant jobs are posted. “Let the tools [like alert settings] do some of that work for you," says Bonneau.
  5. Apply anyway. We’ve all seen job descriptions that seem like impossible wishlists. But you don’t need to check every box, say experts. Next, if you really want that job? Go for it, says LaFawn Davis, Indeed’s group vice president of environmental, social and governance. Leverage your cover letter to explain how your current skills can translate to the advertised role. MOST IMPORTANT SKILL: “If you’re ready to get into something new, if you’re open to stretching yourself, you can learn those other three to four things that maybe you don’t have right now.”

Cheers to that. Happy Weekend!

Author(s): 
Jen Reiseman-Briscoe
Published On: 
03/12/2021