By Marc Basil | September 28, 2018

I’ve been recruiting in Chicago for more than 20 years, and can say without hesitation, this is the strongest job market I have ever seen. As the number of job opportunities continues to rise, the clearer it becomes that this is a candidate-driven market. Most job seekers are juggling several job opportunities at once, and weighing the benefits of each.

This puts working professionals, especially individuals in accounting, finance and IT, in a strong position to manage their careers. No matter how good of conditions we’re experiencing, however, it’s a good rule of thumb to remain vigilant with the decisions you make. As the old adage goes, “all good things must come to an end” – and you just never know when that might happen.

Therefore, it’s best to not become complacent. Regardless of the plentiful market, there are still essential guidelines to practice when seeking a new job.

Learn the 4 Essential Tools for Job Seekers below!

1. Be ready to wow with your resume.
Not only is your resume considered your first impression, but it’s also a summary of accomplishments and career management. Recruiters, human resources professionals and hiring managers typically review hundreds of resumes per day, making it impossible to give full attention to many. In order to help your resume stand out from the rest next to it, make sure it accurately and succinctly frames your experiences by using key words and comprehensive descriptions.

2. Know your stance on social Media.
Just like job seekers research the companies and roles they are applying to, hiring managers and recruiters research the candidates they are interested in. Believe it or not, social media is one of the first and primary ways an organizations will research candidates. Not only should your LinkedIn profile be up-to-date (professional headshot used for your photo, etc.) but consider cleaning up other social channels that you’re active on including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, among others – or turn your settings to private. Our firm was assisting an organization with a CFO search last year, and a part of their vetting process was thoroughly research candidates’ social media to ensure there was no questionable content.

3. Have references at the ready.
In today’s market, hiring companies are compelled to move quickly in order to avoid losing talented candidates to their competition. For this reason, organizations typically accelerate through the interview and vetting process, which includes reference-checks. Before you begin the interview process with any company, be sure to reach out to the individuals who will serve as your references to ensure they are ready to field/return a call in a timely fashion. It’s important to use references who either align with the type of work, or who can touch on specific skills or experiences of yours that also pertain to the job you’re vying for.

4. Practice protocol.
Although candidates currently have the upper hand in the market and most are entertaining several opportunities at once, remaining professional throughout all interview processes is critical. Regardless of the circumstance, be sure to return phone calls, arrive to interviews on time and fully prepared, and follow up with hiring managers after interviews. All of these are simple reminders but stand as important initiatives in following interview protocol. It’s easy to under-communicate with an organization that you don’t see fit for employment. However, maintaining your professional reputation is a priority, and following interview protocol is essential to doing so.

Do you have any other suggestions for job seekers? Leave a comment below!

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