Unemployment has been historically low for an improbably long time. The New York Times reported that the last time we saw such a consistently tight labor market was nearly half a century ago. That might not seem heartening on first glance if you’re looking for a job now. But trust us, the low unemployment rate can be turned to your advantage during the job search.

unemployment, job search, tight labor market
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

If you’re looking for a job in this particular market, there are several ways that you can make this historic period of jobs gains work for you.  

Apply For Jobs You Aren’t 100% Qualified For

When the unemployment rate hits 3.9%, the hiring managers of the nation scramble. Their bosses are looking to hire ASAP and, if the last several years are any indication, the pool of talented applicants is only getting smaller. They need bodies and they need them now, so don’t feel put off by a job whose qualifications you aren’t fully meeting.

We’ve crunched some numbers and told you before that you should be applying to jobs for which you’re 60% qualified. Go ahead and bump that number down a bit. If you’re on the fence about an application, go ahead and throw it in. The time is right.

Hit The Job Search Hard (Especially If You Aren’t A White Guy)

The need for people can counteract some of the sadder facts of the job search. Where a market that’s weighted toward the people doing the hiring allows all sorts of biases to run rampant, a tight labor market with low unemployment means that hiring managers are forced to give applications from outgroups a fair shake.

“When companies have a hiring need and it becomes acute, all of a sudden, a lot of the old stereotypes and biases fade away, because need outweighs everything else,” Tony Lee of the Society for Human Resource Management told Marketplace.

Ask For More

This is probably the single greatest asset that a job searcher receives from low unemployment. Less people competing for the same positions means that you’re free to ask for more when the dreaded salary question rears its head during the interview. The supply-and-demand problem puts applicants in a position to ask for what they want and not what they think the person on the other end of the desk wants to hear.

All that being said, the job search can still be a difficult process. Even in a time of high demand, getting an interview is not a sure thing. We hear you and we’re here to help.

For just $10, we will do it all for you: we can automatically find the best jobs and pre-fill job applications for you based on your desired role, location and years of experience. We can optimize your resume to make sure that those harried HR folks see exactly what they need to give you a call. In addition, you’ll get our Interview Guarantee — if we can’t get you an interview within 60 days, we’ll refund everything back to you, guaranteed. It’s an easy bet for us to make: 90% of job-seekers using TalentWorks get an interview in 60 days or less.

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