The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released March 2016 employment estimates of about 215,000 new hires for the month, but an unemployment rate creeping ever-so-slightly from 4.9 to 5 percent.
More Americans actively seeking jobs explains the incremental unemployment increase despite increased hiring. More hires could continue to bring those who stopped looking for new employment into the fold, thereby adding competition to what is otherwise a seeker's market.
CareerCast.com recently looked at jumping back into the job market after an extended layoff. Understanding best practices for marketing oneself with a gap in her/his resume is critical, and takes a persuasive pitch.
For those who remained employed during the lows of the recent economic recession, you have an immediate advantage over the newcomers to the job market. Don't expect to coast on experience, however.
As stated in our column on returning to the job market, demonstrating newly acquired skills and a knowledge of cutting-edge tools can trump experience, if said experience allowed a job seeker to fall into a comfort zone.
Our report on job-hunting tips from industry experts emphasized the need to get out of comfortable situations in the workplace.
That doesn't mean avoiding skills you have mastered; on the contrary. The more skills you can provably master, the better. However, leaving a comfort zone means taking on a new task after mastering one, without abandoning the latter.
Even if a new skill isn't entirely necessary for your current role, you might need it for a desired position. This requires some personal initiative, starting with your knowledge of the job market.
For example, the job you're interested in asks for video-editing aptitude. You may have work experience, but a candidate who has been out of the job market yet mastered video software has the advantage.
Knowing the skills that are in-demand supersedes experience for experience's sake. Staying updated on in-demand skills is essential to any job hunt, but especially now as new competition enters the market.