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Stats and Surprises to Help Your Job Search

Job MarketWe all know the economy’s troubles have led to the loss of nearly 2 million jobs in the last year. With more and more layoffs occurring each week, how difficult might it be for someone to land a new position?

Here are some findings from recent surveys that might surprise you, and that could have an impact on your job search:

FINDING: 90% of Executives Are "Concerned" About Gaps in a Resume

According to a survey conducted for OfficeTeam, more than 9 out of every 10 executives polled said they would be concerned about a candidate’s fit for a job if his or her resume revealed involuntary gaps in employment. “Employers are aware that people could be out of work through no fault of their own, but resume gaps can still pose a significant obstacle for job candidates,” said Dave Wilmer, executive director of OfficeTeam. “Applicants who have lengthy periods of unemployment should focus on quantifying their achievements and emphasizing specific skills and experience.”

What This Means for You: If you have a significant gap in your resume, be prepared to address it in the job interview without being evasive. If you were laid off as part of a cost-cutting move, say so, making clear that it was not sub-par performance that cost you the job. And as the survey says, make sure the rest of your resume accentuates the positive by quantifying your past achievements and relevant skill sets.

FINDING: LinkedIn Users Have Higher Incomes

If you make a lot of money (say, six figures) or want to, LinkedIn is the place to hang out on the web. A study by Anderson Analytics concluded that nearly 60% of LinkedIn’s users have high personal incomes and hold executive-level or consultant positions.

What This Means for You: Employers know that high-level professionals are using LinkedIn, so many of them are now looking there for potential employees – or at least checking out the profiles of those they're already interviewing. So, if you don’t yet have a profile on LinkedIn, it would be a good idea to sign up and create one (it's free).

FINDING: Companies Are Still Having Trouble Finding the Right People

If you’re out of work right now and wondering how long it will take before you find another job, take heart. There may be an employer out there who is desperately looking for someone like you. In a survey by Watson Wyatt Worldwide, 77% of companies represented said attracting critical-skill employees is a challenge today, and 60% said attracting top performers is a challenge.

What This Means for You: Think of how you can set yourself apart from others who are seeking the same job. Work on branding yourself as someone with the "critical skills" that are highly valued in your field. Focus your efforts (and your resume) on how you can solve a prospective employer’s problem. Remember: It’s not all about you!

Is there anything else going on in the job market that you feel strongly about? Let us know in the Comments section.

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