How to make this hot job market work for you

If there ever were a time to find a job, change jobs or ask for a raise, you’re looking at it.

With an unemployment rate at a 10-year low, employers are starting to relax requirements as they struggle to fill jobs.

But that doesn’t mean your job search will come easy.

In this seven news consumer watch, 7News got expert advice on what you need to do to take advantage of this job market while it lasts.

If you had just come from the gym, and were randomly approached by a TV crew, would you agree to talk on camera?

Maggie Cowley did.

“I love planning events, things like that.”

She’s that personable.

“I just got engaged in December and he has a job here, so I’m just trying to stay,” she told us.

And yet this Clemson graduate has been a full time job seeker for 7 months, despite a 4.4 unemployment rate.

“Selling yourself is huge,” said Merwan Zattam, a branch manager with the hiring firm Robert Half.

He says it may be a job seekers market, but you still need to set yourself apart.

He says employers are drawn to applicants with certifications in your field.

They also want to see resumes with no errors and details on specific training and skills.

If you’re in the right industry, your gold.

“If you break it down into some of the technical skill sets like software engineers, or database administratiors, we’re talking about 0.7 percent or even 1.9% unemployment rate,” said Zattam.

Manufacturing is another field where job seekers are in the driver’s seat.

Greenville Employment lawyer Perry Maclennan says the time is ripe for those workers to negotiate better salaries, as companies struggle.

“They’re getting sometimes pretty desperate to fill positions, and they’re sometimes relaxing other requirements that they would have for the job, whether that be educational requirements, drunk screens, background checks,” he said.

But for a business major who wants to make the switch to hospitality, like Cowley she may need a little extra help.

“I’ve sent in so many resumes. So you know you just got to keep looking,” she said.

That perseverance, combined with a mentor to help her network, may be just the right combo to land the job.

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