by Tom Melander

In my last post I showed you how to use the job vacancy survey (JVS) to help develop your job search strategy. Well, the new JVS data from the second quarter of 2010 is in, and while we’re not out of the woods, there is genuine reason for a little hope. The job market is measurably better than it was in the fall of 2009: the number of job vacancies reported in the last round was up 32 percent compared to the previous round. There were 41,379 job vacancies reported in Minnesota.

If you’ve been sidelined by discouragement, now is the time for action.



We all get discouraged from time to time, and many people who have been out of work for six months to a year or longer have a sense of both futility and fear. Futility because even if they are making an effort, they get very few tangible results from job their search activities, and fear because once they do find a genuine opportunity, they are petrified that they will somehow “blow it.” Some job seekers tell me that after a while, they have felt shunned by recruiters and HR people who had no jobs to offer anyway.  


But even if your outlook hasn’t budged, the economic picture is starting to. DEED reports that the state had 4.8 unemployed people for each job vacancy, compared with 7.9 unemployed people for each vacancy at the same time last year.


Here are three concrete things to do with this information.  


  • Schedule that haircut. Are you still presenting the kind of professional image that inspires confidence in people you meet? It’s not enough to just dress for success on an interview day, you need to step it up every day because you never know when you will have one of those chance encounters that will begin the chain of events that leads to your next job.


  • Reconnect with friends and former co-workers. Let them know that you are still out there and looking. Tell them about your newly found confidence that the job market is improving (it’s a good icebreaker and will get the conversation going in a positive direction.)


  • Talk to strangers. Recommit yourself to weekly job club attendance, or better yet, join Toastmasters. Besides offering opportunities to network, both of these activities can give you a chance to improve your performance for the next time you do find yourself in a job interview.


Good luck with your job hunt. Feel free to leave a comment to share your tips or stories with us.