February Job Growth Blew Expectations Out of the Water: 3 Tips for Finding a New Job Now

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Job growth has been strong, setting the stage for success for job seekers. Follow these three tips to snag yourself a great new opportunity.

Key points

  • The U.S. labor market added 678,000 new jobs in February.
  • That's well beyond the 440,000 new jobs economists were expecting.

There was a time not so long ago when job loss was rampant and the national unemployment rate had reached a frightening record high. These days, however, the labor market is in much better shape.

In February, the labor market added 678,000 new non-farm positions. That well exceeded the 440,000 new jobs economists were expecting.

All told, the national unemployment rate fell to 3.8% last month. That's the lowest level on record since the start of the pandemic. And it also makes now a good time to be looking for a job.

If you've been thinking of dusting off your resume and seeking out a new work opportunity, it's important to take the right approach. Here are three tips for embarking on a successful job search.

1. Get focused

The labor market may be pretty healthy right now, but to some degree, that might trip you up. If there are too many job opportunities out there, you may have a difficult time deciding where to apply.

The solution? Before you begin blasting out resumes, figure out what it is you really want to do. You may be looking to switch fields or move to a different role within your current industry. But either way, it's a good idea to narrow down your ideal role so you can spend your time and energy applying to positions that are more likely to appeal to you.

2. Network extensively

When you're looking for a new job, sometimes, who you know is just as important as what you know. Once you've narrowed down your ideal role, talk to people who may be in a position to help you snag it. That could mean reaching out to former colleagues, old college classmates who shared your major, or the people you met briefly at a networking event you attended before the pandemic.

The right connection could help you get your foot in the door at a company with a great job opening. And by networking, you might also learn of opportunities you wouldn't have found out about otherwise.

3. Research salary data

A big part of your goal in getting a new job may be to boost your pay. And there's nothing wrong with that. A higher salary could make it possible to meet your financial goals, whether they involve paying off your credit cards or starting a retirement nest egg.

But before you embark on your targeted job search, make sure you're going in armed with salary data so you know what sort of compensation to demand and expect. You can use sites like Glassdoor and Salary.com to research that information so you're able to better assess a job offer if one comes your way.

Given the state of the job market, it's a pretty good time to be looking for work -- especially since so many companies have reached the point where they're actually desperate to hire. If you follow these tips, you may find the process of finding the right new job is quicker and more efficient than you thought.

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