Where Are All the Jobs? What to do When You Can’t Find Work

April 19 2024 Posted by Zing Professional in Blog

Whether you’re currently working, but unhappy and seeking a new opportunity, or if you’re in the unfortunate situation of being unemployed, today’s job market might feel a bit mixed up to you. As of the most recent labor report, there are 6.5 million Americans who are currently unemployed, but 8.9 million jobs to fill. You should be rolling in offers, right?

Unfortunately, that’s not the experience many workers are having, despite varying levels of qualification. If you’re in the boat of sending out endless applications and getting nothing but crickets in return, there are many factors to consider. Location, skillset, industry, salary expectations, and more all come into play. In this article, we’ll discuss the key employment trends that may be impacting your job search, and how a dedicated staffing partner like Zing Recruiting can be a valuable resource in your journey.

What May Be Working Against You

There are two factors in play when it comes to your job hunt—extrinsic issues like employment trends and regional job markets, and intrinsic considerations like your experience, resume, interview skills, and employment history.

According to Morningstar, a financial services firm, in 2024 we should expect to see only a slight slowing in economic growth—but more impactful changes in who is doing work, and how it’s getting done. Issues like remote workers being called back to the office, the rise of AI in creative and logistical tasks alike, and continuing growth in the “green” sector will all shift job markets considerably. Additionally, you’ll see different growth in different parts of the country—February 2024 showed that the West South Central and East North Central regions had the most job growth, while New England, Mountain, and Pacific regions grew the least. These factors, while being out of your control, may be making a major difference on your job search.

What You Can Try—Our Top 5 Tips For a Successful Job Hunt

While you should consider those larger trends, it may be more helpful to focus on those things you can control. Ensuring that your resume is up to date and meets modern standards, practicing your interview skills, networking in your area, and learning the best ways to talk about your experience and employment history can mean the difference between another rejection and an offer.

Remember that your resume is a marketing tool

Too many people look at their resume as an exhaustive encyclopedia of their employment, when it should be a targeted, tailored marketing document that highlights the exact reasons you’re perfect for the job at hand. Instead of including every job you’ve had for the last 10 years (or since college!), your resume should only include those roles that have direct impact on the job you’re applying for. The job duties you list should showcase your skills and achievements that will make you stand out as the strongest candidate. And above all else, don’t forget to proofread—or, even better, have a friend with a great eye read it over for you!

Use social media platforms for good

Regardless of your feelings on social media personally, it can no doubt be a powerful tool in your job hunt. By researching your desired employer’s social media pages, you’ll learn valuable insight on what they prioritize and how they see themselves. You’ll be able to ascertain if you’re a fit for their culture, pick up some key talking points for your interview, and position yourself as someone who understands and reflects their public presence.

Another note on social media—make sure that during a job search, yours is clean and presentable. In all likelihood, a recruiter WILL check you out, and you want them to like what they see!

It’s not what you know, it’s who you know

Network, network, network! Knowing people in the world you want to be part of can be invaluable in a job search. Set up quick coffee meetings with people who hold the role you want to move into—you can learn what experience or skill they had that helped them get the job, plus those things they’ve learned in the role that they might not have expected. Playing that kind of information up can show off how savvy you are to what the job takes.

In addition to 1:1 meetings, some types of jobs have field- or industry-specific networking groups available to take part in. Do a search in your area for any networking organizations that may be beneficial to your job hunt.

Polish those interview skills

Especially if you haven’t been on a job hunt in quite some time, interviewing can be a major stumbling block in your search. Some things that can help you feel confident are:

  • Searching for and practicing the most common interview questions in your field.
  • Practicing out loud, either in front of a mirror or with a trusted friend, family member, or colleague that will give you helpful feedback.
  • Researching the most impactful questions you can ask the company. It drives home the fact that you’re not just looking for any job, you’re looking for a great fit—and that’s a quality that hiring manager respect.

Don’t forget to follow up

Depending on the job market, this may be a nice-to-have versus a must-have, but it’s always a welcome gesture to thank those who took the time to meet with you about the job. This doesn’t have to be overly formal—just a quick email acknowledging their time, and a reiteration of your excitement for the opportunity. Plus, it’s a great chance to follow up with some additional information that might help you stand out!

Find Your Best Fit With Zing

We mentioned that networking was one of the key tips for job hunting—what could be better than an entire company that does the networking for you? By utilizing the skills of a staffing partner like Zing Recruiting, you’ll have hundreds of eyes in the field for you—and exposure to countless more job opportunities than you might find on your own. Ready to find that next big opportunity?  Contact us today to access tools, resources, and expert guidance that will support you in this next phase of your profession.