Posted By: Deanna DeBenedictis

Hiring is heating up; so is the competition

Hiring is on the rise! Hurray! The bad news for job seekers, however, means that instead of a less competitive job market, it is becoming more so as the number of people looking for work also goes up.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the number of job openings nationally is close to 5 million. The typical ratio of job seekers to job openings is 2:1. That means today's candidates need to find ways to set themselves apart in a crowded marketplace.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you look for work in 2015:

You may need to add to your skillset: The biggest complaint from employers is that candidates lack required skills. Take a close look at the jobs you're applying for to determine the gaps in your skillset and then find ways to close those gaps. Working with a temp agency is one way to pick up new skills at no cost to you.

You have to be better than qualified: Your resume should be tailored to each position, demonstrating success relevant to the specific company. Use your cover letter to set yourself apart from the crowd through your personality as well as ways you have excelled. And use your personal and professional network to get your name in the mix for an interview.

It's not a quick process: It can be frustrating waiting for a response to a job application; and even more frustrating waiting for a call-back for a second interview or a job offer itself. But the hiring process by nature takes time, sometimes months. Be patient.

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