The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that there were 163,000 jobs added to the economy in July 2012, while the unemployment rate  rose from 8.22 to 8.25 percent. The addition of the jobs means that there are industries that are showing signs of growth, including manufacturing, professional and business sector, food service, leisure, hospitality, as well as hospitals and outpatient care sector.

With that said, there’s a reported 5.2 million Americans who are out of work. A large portion of them are going after the same few openings. Here, Ivan Crosling, association director for the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources, shares five tips on how to make your job search effective, the five biggest mistakes candidates make and why it might not be a good idea to quit your job before you have a replacement. –yvette caslin

Name five key things a job seeker needs to know when seeking employment in a slow economy.

  1. Know where to network with other professionals with similar backgrounds.
  2. Know a mentor or sponsor who will strengthen your skills and expand your access to key people.
  3. Know where the jobs are posted based on your specific career.
  4. Know the industry and/or organization of your interest.
  5. Know how to network effectively. You are your best advertisement.

 

Do you agree that you should wait until you’ve secured other employment before voluntarily quitting your job? Why or why not? Yes.

I believe most people quit their boss, not their job. I recommend trying to find additional projects or other opportunities within the same organization that will strengthen existing skills and well as expose you to new and challenging opportunities. If the projects and opportunities are limited, I encourage you to secure other employment first and then resign. Sometimes, once you have an offer in hand, your existing organization may match or counter your new offer.

What are five of the biggest mistakes that you’ve seen job candidates make?

  1. Networking ineffectively. You must give first, share and lead by serving.
  2. Having the wrong individuals in your circle
  3. Not committing to the job search
  4. Not developing yourself
  5. Not having a clear career goal