15 Coaching Pros Share Their Top Job Search Tips For The 2020 Labor Market

The first quarter of the year is always a great time to look for a new job. This is especially true in 2020, when job growth is high and unemployment is low. However, things have changed in the world of job hunting, and it’s important to understand how to efficiently and effectively conduct your search in the current labor market.

To help you, we asked the members of Forbes Coaches Council for the top advice they’d give job seekers right now. Read on for their best tips.

1. Level Up Your Resume’s Content And Visual Marketing

As technology has become more sophisticated, you are able to create more eye-popping resumes without risking computer scanning issues. And, due to these same technological advances, employers can now sift through hundreds of more applicants quickly, making it more imperative that you use both strategic content marketing and visual branding to soar above other candidates. – Rosa Vargas, Authentic Resume Branding & Career Coaching

2. Demonstrate Your Agility And Flexibility

As we enter this next decade, the single most important factor impacting each and everyone’s career will be speed. If anyone thinks the pace of change is going to slow down, then they simply aren’t in touch with the trends in the market for talent. So, embrace the moment, become more agile and flexible and develop your skills and career strategies to make an impact more quickly. – Rob Tillman, TillmanPartners

3. Focus On Personal Networking

It is a new year and a new decade. Still, as I counsel my executive coaching clients, the real key to finding your next job or venture remains personal networking. Yes, it is possible to just send in a resume, but success is becoming more rare here. Who knows if the resume was seen or rejected? Knowing someone helps, and may create opportunities not otherwise advertised. – Ash Varma, Varma & Associates

4. Don’t Take A Job Just For The Perks

Today, there are more opportunities than ever to make a career change as unemployment rates hover at near record lows. As such, employers try to lure top talent with competitive pay rates and benefit packages. Although it’s tempting to jump to a new job because of these perks, don’t. Instead, evaluate your career ideals and make a strategic move that benefits you. – Ashlee Anderson, Work From Home Happiness

5. Keep Learning And Building New Skills

According to Upwork’s in-demand skills, 70% of the fastest-growing skills were new to the index in 2018. The 2019 skill index is shaping up to show the same trend. The emerging skills shortage is growing. Professionals must upskill and uplevel to stay relevant in today’s job market. Don’t wait for others to be in charge of your learning. Corporations expect you to do it on your own. – Tracy Levine, Advantage Talent, Inc.

6. Be Curious

Being curious about what jobs and tasks you like and do not like can be critical to your eventual engagement, innovation and productivity. If you want to be truly aligned and content in your job, you must be willing to explore everything you can about what it entails and what other opportunities are out there. – Dr. Diane Hamilton, Tonerra

7. Prepare For The Future Of Work

First and foremost, identify your unique value proposition in a hypercompetitive global labor market. What knowledge, skills, abilities (KSAs) and core competencies do you have that set you apart from the rest of the pack? What automation-resistant skills do you bring to the table? To be prepared for the ever-evolving future of work, prepare yourself with irreplaceable characteristics. – Jonathan Westover, Utah Valley University & Human Capital Innovations, LLC

8. Uplift Your Online Presence

If you are not focusing on developing your credibility online, you are missing out on opportunities. Every recruiter has access to LinkedIn and they leverage it heavily. It is incredibly important that you clearly demonstrate your expertise and have a compelling online dossier that incites a conversation. The job market is becoming more automated, not less so. Be active online and be found! – Erin Urban, UPPSolutions, LLC

9. Know What Matters To A Potential Employer

With unemployment at historic lows and demand at high levels, what will make you stand out from your competition when interviewing for roles is your ability to talk about what you’ve done that matters to them and not talk about what you’ve done. Too many people go off on these lengthy diatribes that have no relevance to the employer. Target your answers to the experience sought. – Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

10. Look For Jobs At The Intersection Of Your Education, Experience And Passion

In today’s market, we have more jobs to fill than candidates to fill them. This could be your opportunity to reevaluate your gifts and passions. Where do they overlap? Have your previous jobs allowed their full expression? If not, consider exploring opportunities for jobs that do. Your sense of well-being, fulfillment and productivity will grow. – Ron Young, PAIRIN

11. Take Some Time For Self-Discovery

Rather than just finding another job to stay away from the current one that you no longer love, take this opportunity to conduct a deep self-discovery exercise to truly understand what you are made of, what your life purpose is, what your values are and what your passion is. Then strategize your next step based on that. When you can persuade yourself, you can persuade employers. So be “you!” – Amy Nguyen, Happiness Infinity LLC

12. Do The Things You Are Afraid To Do

One of the greatest skills in demand is creativity. More and more employers are looking for highly creative content. It’s their bread and butter. The most creative people I know are not afraid to do the things that scare them because it allows them to leave their comfort zone behind and tap into something far greater than themselves, a.k.a. creativity. No one was ever creative playing it safe. – Anne Beaulieu, Walking Inside Resources Inc.

13. Create A Video Resume

My secret tip for landing jobs is to provide a video. Anyone can send a resume, so if you want to blend in with the others, feel free. I purchased a high-quality webcam, got a good backdrop and a microphone and produced a great video and included that in my cover letter/proposal. It’s the next best thing to a face-to-face meeting. – Mike Volkin, Freelancer Masterclass

14. Choose Management Over Money

Don’t chase money—chase good management! Working under great leadership will do more for your career than working in a high-paid job with bad management. Be patient and don’t let others convince you into thinking differently. – Donald Hatter, Donald Hatter Inc.

15. Be Intentional

Self-awareness, emotional intelligence and being intentional are key to success in looking for employment. Being intentional eradicates unnecessary activity that could potentially derail your search and connections. Take time to define and design your approach, your story and your personal brand. Be specific and selective so your best self is represented for matching to the right job fit. – Lori Harris, Harris Whitesell Consulting

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1. Combine Gifts, Passions And Innovation

Know who you are today by doing a fresh analysis of your gifts and passions. Use the results of your analysis as your lens for identifying unmet needs in the business world. Think outside the box by breaking away from conventional wisdom. Combining your gifts and passions with innovative ideas is foundational to a successful business that meets your and your consumers’ needs. – Ron Young, Trove, Inc.

2. Gain Clarity And Choose Metrics For Success

I’ve had numerous pro-service clients do this, and most of them have considered it. The most important thing is to have clarity about why you want to start a business. The second thing is to very carefully choose the metrics that will indicate to yourself that you are succeeding. Your “why” and your metrics will keep you grounded when the going gets tough—and it will. – Randy Shattuck, The Shattuck Group

3. Leverage Your Experience And Do A SWOT Analysis

Know your strengths, be clear on your personal motivation and leverage your current experience and insights that you have developed over the years in your industry. Think about the pains and gains your clients have experienced and gaps that have not been filled. I also recommend doing a SWOT analysis to gain clarity and alignment and to determine the value proposition. – Breshana Miller, Kairos Coaching & Consulting, LLC

4. Brainstorm With Close Friends

You can’t hesitate or keep your new business too close to your chest. You need to brainstorm with your closest friends, your professional network and those whom you trust. Bounce your ideas off of others and see if they resonate. What do they think your new business is worth? Who do they think the customers would be? Do they know someone who would buy? Have that conversation 100 times and get to work. – Jacob Warwick, ThinkWarwick

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5. Match The Commercial Proposition With The Value You Offer

It is important to match the commercial proposition with the value that you are offering. Before leaving, start researching the potential market to ensure there is a real need. When you are clear on the commercial viability, you can reverse-engineer the process to ensure the proposition fits with your personal drive and passion. – Claudine Reid, PJ’s Community Service

6. Have A Strong Support System In Place

Being an entrepreneur and working for a corporation require different mindsets. To sustain the personal drive and passion, it helps to have a strong support system in place—people who are just as passionate and driven as you and believe in the success of the new business, such as friends, a mastermind group or an experienced coach who can ensure there is a balance between work and personal well-being. – Masha Malka, The One Minute Coach

7. Don’t Follow Your Passion—Bring It To An Opportunity

Don’t follow your passion. I’d rather you bring your passion and drive to an opportunity. The first step is finding a way to improve lives in exchange for profit, then apply your natural passion and drive to improve as many of those lives as possible as efficiently as possible. Because when you do that really well, vision, momentum, growth and, eventually, profit are the results. – David Robertson, Growthpoint Coaching Co.

8. Leverage What Makes You Irreplaceable

You need to clarify the market need for what you do via research, interviews and more. In regard to fulfilling your own needs, a reflective, holistic approach is required to uncover your own personal wants, needs and values to be successful. And above all else, you must uncover something that makes you irreplaceable in the market that you serve. Get all those right and then go for it! – Linda Martin, Linda Martin Results

9. Connect With Your Four Selves

First connect with your four selves—intellectual, emotional, spiritual and physical—and be crystal clear about your purpose and commitment to it. Launching a new venture requires all your energy and commitment. Sometimes, it’s rough. Second, get deep input and feedback from those around you—both your trusted network and your more fearless critics. The wider the scope, the richer the insights. – Luis Costa, Luis Costa – coach · facilitator · speaker

10. Enroll Clients To Help Craft Your Company Vision

Get connected to your purpose, build a business plan around your core values and enroll the customers you want to serve to help craft the company vision. In doing this, you will likely find that your needs and the needs of your future customers are very aligned. Trust that a successful launch will follow and that you will have a tribe of allies ready to offer guidance and support when needed. – Emily Rogers, Emily Rogers Consulting + Coaching

11. Outline The Customer Journey And Your Sales Funnel

First, outline the customer journey to define the scope of their need. Second, outline your marketing and sales funnel. If you are not excited to do that, hire someone who is or don’t launch. If the idea of selling and marketing for hours every week does not excite you, pursue a hobby instead. Third, if you don’t have the drive or passion to build a business, get a dog. The dog will love you back every day. – Kelly Tyler Byrnes, Voyage Consulting Group

12. Experiment With A Minimum Viable Product

Take small steps. Too many people get sucked into the entrepreneurial dream without realizing how tough it can be. I would suggest experimenting with the product—take a minimum viable product (MVP) to the market and get feedback. Leaning on your personal drive, experiment with your own business identity. Too many people overestimate their passion and drive and underestimate the challenge. – Devika Das, CORE Executive Presence

13. Take An Inside-Out Approach

Start with your mission and vision. I believe, as a coach, taking an inside-out approach where executives can start exploring their passion as well as what they would see as success for this new endeavor is key. Then, we can explore the marketplace and how this would be sustained as a successful business by developing a strategic business plan. Allow your personal drive to set the tone for success. – Bryan Powell, Executive Coaching Space

14. Build A Business Around Your Retirement Dreams

Start by thinking about your retirement. If you grew your business and sold it for a killing, what would you then be doing in life? At that point, when you wouldn’t have to think about money and profits, what would you be doing with your time? That’s what you should build your business around. It’s bound to be an area where a strong customer or market need is coupled with your own passion and drive. – Vinesh Sukumaran, Vinesh Sukumaran Consulting

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