The Most Overlooked Part of Your Job Search
Regardless of what career path you choose, it’s important not only to research companies hiring, but also to understand the labor markets health in the region of the job. This is one of the most commonly overlooked aspects of a job search that can impact you in the long run.
Why should you care about the job market? Well, if you’re early on in your career, say 20–30 years old, you’re likely going to be changing jobs in the next 1–3 years. If you’re not working in a healthy market for your career path or you want to move, you want to make sure to choose a city where there are more opportunities available (not to mention more competitive markets typically correlate with higher salaries).
What You Can Do Today
Don’t panic. Careerscore keeps a pulse on labor markets across the U.S. so that you can make a more informed decision as you consider your options. I’ll walk you through an analysis of markets for web developers (one of the career paths we support with our career management platform) so you can understand how this type of thinking can help you achieve your career goals.
Let’s assume I’m a junior web developer trying to decide between a few different states: Florida, Georgia and Texas. Which state has larger demand for web developers. (Note: When I say demand, I’m referencing employers posting jobs for web developers which is a measure of labor market demand for the role.)
It looks like there’s a relatively healthy market for web developers in each of these states. As a percentage of national demand for the role, Florida, Georgia, and Texas account for 5.25%, 3.48%, and 6.16% of employer posts for jobs.
Skills Pay the Bills
So looking through the data I want to compare the two skills I have that are most unique amongst web developers, .NET and SQL. After looking at both markets, I realized that NET and SQL have 2.65% and 3.46% higher demand for my more unique skills in Texas.
The Next Step
Let’s say I’m a rising junior developer and can see my path to being a mid-level developer on the horizon. I’d want to know if there’s a market for mid-level developers with my skills in Texas and how that market compares to juniors developers in the same area.
As you can see, I’m not only in good shape as a junior, but there’s an incrementally higher demand for mid-level developers with my skillset so I may be in a good position to get to that goal sooner than I expected!
Great, so now that I know which job market makes the most sense for me, I probably want to know how to position myself to increase my chances of landing a job. I know which two skills stand out for me as a web developer, but how should I market myself? In other words, what title will give me the highest chance of getting recognized by a potential employer?
It looks like in this case, I would be safe going with a web developer title on my resume and social presence. However, if I were a Rubyist(a) and an employer were looking for a web developer with that skill, I’d have a better chance of coming across their radar with a full stack web developer title.
Smart Career Management
I walked you through the thought process I’d take when looking at job markets and focusing your search. It’s part of a movement I call smart career management — there’s no need to make a move without considering all the pieces on the board.
We’ve packaged this data into an interactive application you can use to explore job demand for web developer positions. Knowing what skills companies are hiring for in different regions will help you make a smarter decision not only with respect to the job you’re interested in, but can also put you on track for your longer term career goals.
Want to see this analysis for other career paths? Drop us a line.
Newt is the co-founder of Careerscore.com, a career management platform designed to help you optimize your growth.