March 2023 Career News

 

Welcome to the Career Economy!


Another month of employment data hit the scene last week. Between more job gains that outperformed predictions, two bank failures, loopy inflation, and a dwindling debt ceiling, I’ve got one thing to say about the current state of the career economy. 

In the words of Samuel L. Jackson…

Jurassic Park - Hold Onto Your Butts


Hold on to your butts, ’cause here we go!

There were a little over 300,000 new jobs create in February, which is what CNBC is calling a “Goldilocks Job Report.” The numbers are juuuuuuust right.  

Why, you ask? 

This is about 30% higher than economists predicted for the month of February but lower than a fairly big January, which should theoretically help the inflation issue. You’d think runs on two established banks would keep us away from another rate hike, but that opinion is above my pay grade. We’ll see what good old Powell does next week. 

Anyway…

This month’s numbers represent about half the job creation we saw last year (February, 2022 hit an incredible 675k+!), but 300k new jobs is still a good sign that there’s hiring activity. Remember, we’re talking net job creation which means there’s been enough positive activity to counterbalance layoffs at large tech companies.  Unemployment only inched up 0.2% despite what feels like “massive widespread layoffs.” 

Staffing industries are still reporting large talent shortages across the board, largely driven by Baby Boomers retiring and workers wanting a different type of work. So this leaves me thinking the job market has a bottleneck, and there are only so many jobs that can be created based on the amount of job seekers going after them.

BUT WAIT: if there is such positive job growth happening, why am I getting crickets on applications and seeing 34657 candidates applying for a single job!?

And here is where that “wanting different type of work” thing comes into play. 

Y’all know I take a glass-half-full approach to career development, but I’ll also call a spade a spade when I see it, so here comes a dose of reality folks. 

This job market is TRICKY!

I didn’t say impossible.

I didn’t say bad.

I didn’t even say tough. 

I said tricky. The reason I chose that word is because yes – there are lots of jobs being created, and there is a talent shortage…but there is also a mismatch in the types of roles the workforce is (largely) vying for and the types of positions being offered by employers.

In short: Wendy’s needs a burger flipper, but a Senior Program Manager who was laid off from Amazon ain’t gonna apply for that position! 

Instead of further belaboring my analysis of this month’s numbers, I’m going to provide some advice on how to navigate the wacky market because, to complicate matters further, there are two factors converging on job seekers at the same time. 

1. Higher volume applications for competitive, professional roles, especially for mid-career through leadership means you’ve got to stand out.

We got lazy over the past two years because you could just apply for some jobs online and have a very high likelihood of getting a call. There’s a lot less certainty (and a much lower ROI) on that singular approach right now. 

2. I believe the ups and downs we’ve seen in hiring over the past three years have landed us in a new phase of hiring trends and methodologies. 

Remaining in tune with this is keeping me on my toes, and aligning your strategies with these updated rules of engagement is going to be key to navigating point 1, above. 

Here’s what’s changing and how you can adapt. 

✅ Market-driven resumes are coming in hard and fast.

It’s becoming increasingly important to show the outcomes you have to offer an employer instead of just telling them your story and accomplishments (as we’ve been doing for the past 5+ years).

This means thinking about your achievements in the form of impact specific to an industry and not just accomplishments.

You have heard this for YEARS: you need an accomplishments-driven resume, so people know how you carry out your responsibilities.

Well, the equation has moved from two variables to three.

Skill + Accomplishment + Outcome/Industry Impact = WIN

✅ We’ve always had to prove our skills on resumes, possibly because 75% of applicants lie on their resumes (don’t get me started), but now you have to tailor what you provide and align it with the top qualifications demanded by a particular job.

In other words, you need a deeper bench of impact-based achievements and will need to tailor resumes more from application to application.

✅ Resumes are getting simpler.

OH, HAPPY DAY

You couldn’t make this traditional resume writer any happier than to see that graphs, graphics, and over-designed resumes are becoming a thing of the past.

I have always asserted that no one gets p*ssed off at a well-designed, clean, and professional black + white resume, and now everyone is coming on board with me. 🤣

People want information, right up front in an easy-to-follow way. Give it to them!

Set yourself up for success by:

➡️ Having a highly targeted plan for the roles you’re seeking (clarity!)

➡️ Identifying how your experience resonates in the target market, including impact, outcomes, and solutions to the pain points your target industry is battling.

➡️ Creating base resume versions that hit 90% of the categorical requirements of the market, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel for each application.How’s that for a brain dump this month!? 

I’ll add one last tidbit of advice. Be patient. 

Job searches are taking longer than they have in the past two years, especially for technology professionals. We’re used to fast and furious hiring where you can go from 0 to five offers in two months, but the dust has settled on that. Unfortunately, for the first time in 15 years, tech professionals will see what job seekers in every other industry experience – the need to be focused, strategic, methodical, and patient…with tip-top application materials. 

While I’m hanging out on this roller coaster trying to figure out how to help you get results, there’s one thing I know for certain. you can do this! 

 

Your Friend and Coach, 
Angie

 

THe No-BS Blueprint for a successful job search

Award-winning career coach Angie Callen covers everything you need to know about job searching in the current market. 

No more trolling job boards and free advice for hours on end, just outcomes-based strategies to maximize your career. Click the link below to grab your copy today! 

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  • Strategies to make your search efficient and effective.
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Angie’s resume guidance transformed my job search. I used her feedback to revamp my resume, responded to a rejection, and within a month, I landed the job of my dreams! – Will, Netflix Engineer

Angie Callen, Founder

I created Career Benders to inspire confident professionals. In just three years, we have helped nearly 500 professionals navigate job searches, nail interviews, and find satisfaction in their careers. We’re here for you!

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