Job Search Tips For A Market Uptick


I feel a market uptick.

As a former recruiter, I still am involved in recruiter networks, and my colleagues are busy.

Most telling of all, companies are looking for recruiters, indicating a commitment to hiring on an ongoing basis.

So if you have been unemployed and discouraged about your search, or if you’re employed and have been scared to make a move, dust off your job search game face and be prepared to get on the market.

Here are 3 strategies specific to job search when the market is just starting to turn upward:

Have a story for the downturn.

Be able to talk about what you did if you were unemployed or employed but underutilized. Focus on achievements and measurable results, rather than whether the work was temporary or pro bono. Focus on being upbeat and positive about where you worked, even if the downturn forced you to take on 3 people’s jobs. The way you frame the past negative and difficult times will reflect how you handle adversity and come out on top (or not).

Be clear about where you go from here.

The early market uptick favors people who can tap into the hidden job market, where employers are just deciding on new jobs but may not have the bandwidth to post them or launch a broad search. If you can be laser focused on what companies and departments you are targeting, you stand a better chance of networking your way into these companies and accessing those early jobs.

Help others help you.

Your friends and family may hear about these hidden jobs, but will they know what you are looking for?

And even if they do, will they know how to talk about your skills and experience in a way that positions you correctly for these jobs?

If not, or if you’re not sure, then it’s time to remind your network about who you are and what you want. Remember to not assume that people are out looking for jobs for you. See my last CNBC post about When Is It Okay To Ask For A Job Lead! But definitely help those people who you’re sure would help you, be aware of what you’re looking for, how to talk about you, and how to be helpful.

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Caroline Ceniza-Levine is a career coach, writer, speaker, Gen Y expert and co-founder of SixFigureStart (, a career coaching firm comprised of former Fortune 500 recruiters. Formerly in corporate HR and retained search, Caroline most recently headed University Relations for Time Inc and has also recruited for Accenture, Citibank, Disney ABC, and others. Caroline is Adjunct Assistant Professor of Professional Development at Columbia University, School of International and Public Affairs and posts at CNBC Executive Careers and

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