Location Really Does Matter in the Job Search

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For many of you, graduation is just around the corner. You’ve probably written your resume and cover letter, and you may have even started your job search. Are you looking in the right places geographically? Some of you may want to stay close to home, and for many, the city of their college has become home.  The market differs for careers and industries across the country. If you’ve got geographic restrictions in your job search, you may find yourself having a harder time than you expected.

We all know the job market isn’t great right now. In order to optimize your chances of being hired, you’ll need to make yourself stand out in the job market and be sure you’re looking in the right places for your kind of work.  Here are some things to know.

Some Cities Declining

There are some areas of the country that have been in a state of economic decline for some time now. Forbest just released their worst cities for jobs list. Check it out to see if your targeted area is found there. If yours is an area with a poor job outlook, all may not be lost. Remember to use your networking skills when searching for that perfect position. Sometimes it’s all in who you know.

Supply and Demand

Even areas of high job growth may not be great places to focus your particular job search. For example, the community college where I worked offered a very popular Computer Forensics program. Unfortunately, what many students didn’t know is that the job market for that field was mostly saturated in our area. It was quite a disappointment for those planning to stay close to home.

Do Your Research

This is why I always recommend seeing a career counselor or visiting the career services office at your campus. Hopefully, you’ve done your research already if you’re nearing graduation. If you’ve just narrowed down your major, you’re in luck!

Take the time to research your field. See what the job potential is like and which areas of the country are high growth. The Occupational Outlook Handbook from the Burea of Labor Statistics is a great place to start in your research. Here you’ll find detailed information on careers including important demographic statistics, as well as information on the skills and training you’ll need. You can also talk to the faculty who teach in your major department for inside information on your intended career, and don’t forget to get in touch with anyone you know personally in the field.

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