Labor Day is the equivalent of a one-two punch for job seekers and employers. It's back-to-school and New Year's resolutions rolled into one: Summer vacations are over, it's time to get back to the hiring game. Employers post more listings, and candidates apply for more jobs. It's a ritual without new notebooks, class schedules, or New Year's resolutions, but it is a ritual all the same.

I'm not a Wall Street analyst, but I can tell you it's a tough market out there--even amidst reports of increased hiring. Yes, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the national unemployment rate is holding steady at under 10% (current rate remains steady at 9.6%) and private sector employment grew by 67,000 in August, but chances are good that you won't be the only one revising your resume and checking it twice.

My recommendations ? Follow the advice so eloquently crooned by Des'ree back in the mid-90's in her song, "You Gotta Be"

Listen as your day unfolds
Challenge what the future holds
Try and keep your head up to the sky...

...You gotta be bold
You gotta be wiser, you gotta be hard
You gotta be tough, you gotta be stronger
You gotta be cool, you gotta be calm
You gotta stay together 

 Today's market requires all of the traits above, with a bit of a post-millennial twist: You also gotta be

Approachable and open to new opportunities
Brave (and maybe even brazen) in applying for opportunities and seeking to build relationships within hiring organizations
Confident and convincing in presenting your skills and what you offer
Determined to continue even if you don't get picked or called for an interview
Energetic in pursuing your interests and continuing your search
Fearless in seeking out help when you need it 

The job search process may be a long and winding road but, take heart: Not only are you not alone, but there are hundreds of people and resources who are here to help! From career advice blogs and support groups on Twitter (check out Hire Friday and JobAngels) and in person through groups (if in NYC, please join me here), you'll find dozens of people who are here to help--and who want to assist you in this process.
Lean on us. Whether you have just started looking--or you've been out for a while, let us know what you need and how we can help you along the way.

To Your Success,


Cross-posted on Career Hub.