Competition for the hottest jobs is on the rise: Here’s how to win

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The economy is tightening and competition for jobs is intensifying. In this context, you are smart to know which jobs are in high demand and where the best opportunities might be. Taking a leap in your job search and standing out will be essential if you want to land a big role.

The employment landscape

A new study by Semrush found the top three jobs people look for in the US are flight attendant, medical assistant and security jobs. And the professions with the strongest growth in searches compared to previous years are the professions of data analyst, project manager and proofreader. On the other hand, some jobs are losing popularity. These include pharmacy technician, administrative assistant, nanny, firefighter and tutor jobs.

What about remote or hybrid roles? Globally, the hybrid loses its importance over things like job security, but the desire for more flexibility in where and when people work is still important. Searches for these types of roles have quadrupled in popularity. Searches for “remote jobs near me”, “part-time remote jobs” and “entry-level remote jobs” are particularly popular.

Tech companies are also particularly popular in job searches. Interest in Amazon, Meta, Google, Netflix and Apple doubled in searches in the US and globally. Every month, an average of 7 million people visit Amazon’s career page and 1.2 million visit Meta’s career section.

Get off to a good start

Search data can inform your job search in a big way, and one of the first things you can do is act fast. With more media coverage of company layoffs or restrictions (think: canceling vacancies), people looking for new opportunities will step up their efforts — and you’ll want to be on the front lines if you can.

Search now and regularly search for new roles as things are constantly changing given the volatility in the market right now. In addition, companies often reduce their search and hiring activities during the holidays, so it’s time to start looking for and pursuing new opportunities.

Find adjacencies

If the most in-demand jobs are also on your list of those to pursue, you can expand your options by thinking creatively and considering adjacent roles. Think of them as the “possible adjacent”. For example, if you want to become a flight attendant because you love the travel industry and are passionate about the power of aircraft, you might consider looking into other related roles, such as gate attendants, mechanics aircraft or marshallers. Or if being a medical assistant sounds exciting to you because you love healthcare, you might also consider exploring the roles of phlebotomist, EKG technician, or medical claims reviewer.

Also broaden your search by looking for related data and considering the fast growing economy and jobs. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics publishes a list of the 20 occupations with the highest job change percentage between 2021 and 2031. They include jobs like nurse practitioners, wind turbine service technicians, ticket takers and movie projectionists , restaurant cooks and data scientists.

Activate your network

The hidden job market – those jobs that have yet to be advertised or are barely emerging in the minds of leaders – is alive and well, and the best way to tap into these less visible opportunities is to activate your network. Advertise that you are looking for a job and ask your network for leads and support. Or if you want to be more discreet in your search, contact people privately and ask them to introduce you to others or recommend you for a position.

The most helpful people will probably be in your secondary or tertiary networks, rather than your main network. This was recently proven in a MIT study. Those you know best probably know many of the same people and are aware of the same opportunities as you. But those who are farther away – and those you’re not as close to – will have access to new information or new information about roles that may be available. If you’ve supported others along the way and maintained good relationships, those network connections should be especially powerful in your search.

Focus on your heart

Often when companies pull back or protect their positions in a contracting market, they are more interested in hiring people who are already experts and can hit the ground running in a role. They want to hire people who have a proven track record or who can demonstrate that they will act quickly and competently. As a result, you’ll want to focus on your core skill areas and your demonstrated success.

Highlight your potential

That said, of course, companies also want to hire people who will grow with them and who have future potential. Focus on your ability to perform today, but also talk about how you are committed to learning, growing and contributing to their organization in new ways over time. It will be a balance, and the message is nuanced, but it will be worth articulating both your value today and your value tomorrow.

In sum

If you like your current role or your current employer, great. But if you’re looking for the next big thing, now is the time to get off to a good start, get started, and move forward in the search for a new opportunity – either by pursuing what you know is interesting, or thinking creatively about similar roles that could offer new learning and growth.

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