If you're looking for a job today, don't expect one to magically fall into your lap tomorrow.
The government pretty much confirmed that on Friday when it said the U.S. economy grew at a lackluster 1.6 percent annual rate from April through June, less than each of the previous two calendar quarters.
Economists believe that growth rate is too weak to spur businesses to start hiring again.
So, what to make of this?
Businesses are adding jobs, just not as many as they would like. Various private studies say the job growth we've been seeing this year will continue, but not enough to make a substantial dent in the current 9.5 percent national unemployment rate. Businesses first want to be sure that they're on more solid financial footing before they add to their payrolls.
"There is no doubt that the job market has a long way to go before it fully recovers," says John A. Challenger, CEO of global outplacement consultancy Challenger, Gray & Christmas. "While the unemployment rate remains … high and the decline is not occurring fast enough for most, it … appears to be heading in the right direction."
Keep on looking, and keep doing your homework. There are still many candidates chasing whatever relatively few job openings are out there. That means you need to customize each resume you send to match the job requirements and what the employer is looking for. You also need to research the company and demonstrate in your resumes, cover letters, and interviews how your skills and background are a strong fit for the job.
Don't stop looking until you agree to a job offer. I've seen it happen before: You're interviewed, things look good, and an offer is pending. Then nothing happens, or they choose someone else. Just as a baseball game isn't over until the final out, your job search isn't over until you and the employer sign a job offer and agree to a starting date. Until that happens, always have a Plan B in mind.
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