The U.S. Economy Added 467,000 Jobs in January. Here's How to Go Out and Get One

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  • Job growth exceeded economists' expectations in January, with 467,000 new positions added.
  • It pays to take advantage of the booming labor market while you can.

Talk about good news.

It's no secret the omicron surge exploded on a national level in January. Due to that, economists were anticipating a disappointing January jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

But that didn't happen. Instead, the BLS reported the U.S. economy added 467,000 new jobs last month, which far exceeded the 150,000 jobs experts had been calling for.

In January, the hospitality industry added more than 100,000 jobs, though to be fair, that industry also shed a ton of jobs when the pandemic first erupted. Logistics companies and retailers also added a lot of jobs.

What was also surprising about last month's jobs report is that it's common for employment figures to decline following the holiday season. But that didn't happen. And now, the U.S. economy has millions of jobs open for the taking.

You may be interested in getting a new job for a variety of reasons, whether it's to pursue more interesting work, have a shot at a promotion, or boost your paycheck. Here are some strategies that could help you succeed.

1. Make sure your resume is up to date

Hiring managers don't tend to spend a lot of time reviewing resumes initially. Often, they'll give a resume a quick scan and then either reject it or save it for further review.

Either way, it's important to make every word on your resume count, so comb through that document and make sure it's up to date. If you're 10 years out of college, the bookstore gig you held down during your junior year should really no longer have a place on your resume.

2. Talk to the right people

When it comes to getting a job, knowing the right people could get your foot in the door. That's why it's important to network.

Reach out to friends, family members, old colleagues, and anyone else you think might be able to connect you with openings or opportunities. And don't shy away from using sites like LinkedIn to build your professional network. If there's a company you want to work at and you come across the profile of someone who's employed there, send a note with an introduction and ask that person to connect. They may not say yes, but it's worth a try.

3. Know what you want

You may be looking for a new job simply to escape a current job that's a poor fit. But if you take the approach that any old job will do, you might end up disappointed in your next position, and you also might struggle to narrow down your search.

Instead, spend time thinking about what you really want. Also, try to nail down your salary expectations. There may be a certain number you have in mind -- one that allows you to cover your bills comfortably and meet different goals, like building savings. You'll want to keep that number in mind as you negotiate with prospective employers.

The U.S. job market is still hot, despite an expected decline that didn't happen. If you're not satisfied with your current job, it pays to take advantage of the labor market -- before things cool down and opportunities become less abundant.

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