As this article is being written, there are over 7 million jobs available each and every month. Yes, you read that correctly . . . over 7 MILLION jobs are “open” each and every month today! So, now may well be the best time in the last several years for you to go looking for your dream job, if you don’t currently have it.

But, Skip, you’re undoubtedly saying to yourself, how can that possibly be? The jobs report that just came out last Friday said there were 227,000 new jobs added to the job market! What’s up with that? Here is the explanation:

For the most part, the news media focuses only on one set of employment figures each month—new jobs added to the workforce. From time to time you will see a more informed, more detailed and comprehensive analysis of the true picture (and scope) of the current job market, usually deep within the business news sections, but that is rare. Almost without exception, it is the report released each month by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the so-called “jobs report,” that captures all the headlines. That is actually unfortunate because the number of jobs represented by the BLS report only represents a small subset of the actual numbers of jobs currently available.

The whole representation

It is the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report that gives us the true picture and scope of the current labor market. Here is what the JOLTS report is showing, on a rolling monthly basis, about the current job market:

4.05 million people hired each month

+ 3.38 million positions remaining open/unfilled each month

= 7.43 total positions available each and every month

Now, here is a very telling statistic: 1.93 million of these openings (26%) were due to people quitting their current jobs. Underscoring the fact that the heretofore slumbering job market may finally be picking up some genuine “steam,” is that, over the last two months, more people have quit their jobs (presumably to take new jobs) than at any other time since late 2008!

Why are so many people quitting their current jobs?

There are numerous reasons why so many people are quitting their current jobs:

  • For many, their career has stalled
  • Pay raises have been stymied or pitifully small
  • Due to layoffs, people are currently doing the work of 1 ½, 2 or even 3 people
  • They are simply tired and worn out
  • Thus, it is time to look for something new

In fact, depending upon the survey you read, anywhere between 40% and 70% of currently employed people say they want a new opportunity. Since there are 150 million currently employed people in the U.S., that means somewhere between 60 and 105 million people are indicating that they would like a new career opportunity.

Are you one of these people? Is now the time for you to step out in search of your Dream Job? Better yet, how would you like to brand yourself in such a fashion that your dream job may actually seek you out?!

3 ‘secrets’ for getting your dream job

I have found that there are essentially THREE “secrets” to positioning/branding yourself so that the jobs can start coming to you, instead of you having to spend untold hours (usually on the Internet) seeking after the jobs!

1. First and foremost, thoroughly understand that this hiring concept is literally cast in stone in today’s job market.

Companies today hire only two types of people, those who can “make ‘em money” or “save ‘em money,” or ideally, accomplish both of these things. With somewhere in the vicinity of 100 million currently employed people wanting a new career opportunity, it is absolutely critical that you effectively and unmistakably brand—and quantify—yourself as being among the candidates who can actually do one (or both) of these things for a company.

2. While you are still working, make the Internet work for you, instead of the other way around.

With 7.4 million rotating job openings each and every month, “headhunters” like me, hiring managers and Human Resources professionals are continually “patrolling” the Internet for highly qualified, top-notch candidates to consider for the openings we are trying to fill—each and every month. That means, if you have properly branded and positioned yourself among this type of candidate, your dream job could literally be just a phone call away!

How do you go about making sure you are among this group of highly qualified potential candidates? Here are some of the more important considerations:

  • Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and kept up to date, ensuring that your quantifiable accomplishments and achievements are duly (and prominently) noted.

(With 160 million people on LinkedIn, it is the Number One place “headhunters,” hiring managers and Human Resources professionals now go when they want to locate top-notch talent for open positions.)

  • Determine the TOP 20 to 30 keywords that best brand you, i.e., what you do, and how well you do it, in your particular professional specialty. Then, from this group, choose (and then strongly emphasize) the TOP 10 in your LinkedIn profile.
  • Have at least THREE recommendations (this will return you higher in search results). Ensure that some of your top 10 keywords appear in these recommendations.
  • Capture additional keywords in your professional headline, titles of your roles and summary statements.
  • Use the “Specialties” section as a keyword repository and load it up with the remaining 20 or so keywords branding yourself and your professional abilities.
  • Upload a professional picture to your profile.
  • Provide current, correct contact information.

In addition to establishing and maintaining your brand and presence on LinkedIn, make sure you also do the following:

3. Become part of a “headhunter’s” “inner circle.” Check out my previous blog post here to learn how to accomplish that.

As the late Steve Jobs said, “Life’s fragile.” Be significant. Pursue your dream! And NOW is a golden opportunity to do just that!

NOTE: Click on (or paste into your Web browser) this link to learn more about finding your dream job in 2012 (make sure your speakers are turned on):


Skip Freeman is the author of “Headhunter” Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed . . . Forever! and is the President and Chief Executive Officer of The HTW Group (Hire to Win), an Atlanta, GA, Metropolitan Area Executive Search Firm. Specializing in the placement of sales, engineering, manufacturing and R&D professionals, he has developed powerful techniques that help companies hire the best and help the best get hired.