The 2014 Job Search

A Few Interesting Facts & Figures

We’re three months in to 2014 and with the first day of spring behind us, what better time than now to reexamine the current US job market and refresh our perceptions of the employment outlook. Here are a few recent stats I found on resumes, job searching, and the employment market in general:

  • According to the Bureau of Labor & Statistics’ latest Occupational Outlook Handbook, here are the fastest-growing occupations with projected growth rates of 45% or above (2012–2022): industrial-organizational psychologists, personal care aides, home health aides, insulation workers (mechanical), interpreters and translators, and diagnostic medical sonographers. In terms of most new jobs, personal care aides and registered nurses are projected to lead the pack with 520K+.
  • CareerBuilder recently surveyed 2K+ hiring managers and found that 17% spend 30 seconds or less reviewing resumes.  While we’ve been told this for quite some time, the surprising part of the survey is that 68% stated they spend less than two minutes. Those extra seconds make a huge difference, but job seekers should still be highly strategic when developing their resumes.
  • The latest ADP National Employment Report states that private sector employment increased by 139K jobs from January to February; goods-producing employment rose by 19K with 14K of those opportunities coming from the construction industry.
  • ManpowerGroup’s Q2 2014 Employment Outlook Survey predicts that US hiring will hold steady for the 3rd consecutive quarter with a year-over-year outlook improvement of 2%; only 4% of US employers plan to reduce headcounts (among the smallest percentages in survey history).
  • According to a global study by LinkedIn, the most overused buzzword of 2013 is “responsible.” Others on the top ten list include “strategic,” “creative,” “innovative,” and “driven.” I generally take lists like these with a grain of salt, but including the passive phrase “Responsible for…” on your resume is a big “don’t.” The others should be used sparingly, and as always, use a wide vocabulary to keep your resume interesting.
  • Telecommuting is a hot topic these days, and to quote a recent New York Times article, “the typical telecommuter is a 49-year-old college graduate — man or woman — who earns about $58,000 a year and belongs to a company with more than 100 employees.”

Overall, these figures indicate that the job market is improving. While you can readily find expert opinions that range from highly optimistic to doom and gloom, maintaining a positive attitude during your search is essential regardless of the current atmosphere. Stay informed, set realistic expectations, and embrace challenges as opportunities to grow personally and professionally.

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