A rebounding Sacramento employment market may be more than a rumor in 2012. Employers are whispering about recovery, starting the new year with talk of new hiring.
Health care continues to be a relative bright spot, and economists sound hopeful in the new year as the state's double-digit jobless rate continues nudging downward.
So what does that mean for Sacramento-area job seekers? Local employment pros are singing different bars of the same tune: Retool. Smarten your job search. Reassess your skill set. Get face time. Sell your "soft skills."
It's good advice in a climate still as tough as any in the country to find work.
Sacramento's December unemployment rate was 10.9 percent, the state's Employment Development Department reported. For every Sacramento job posting, six people in the area are looking for work, says San Francisco online job search site SimplyHired.com, putting the region in the company of Los Angeles and recession-weary Las Vegas and Miami.
Sacramento's ratio of workers to openings "is the third-highest, and there's a long road ahead," said Gautam Godhwani, chief executive officer of SimplyHired.
Job seekers who want to stand out in this tough market need to avoid the traditional one-size-fits-all résumé, said Jess Bushey, market director at employment firm Roth Staffing Cos. Be strategic in your job search, she said, by tailoring your résumé to the positions you're seeking, making a clear connection between your skills and the employer's needs.
The recession and technology have redefined jobs and employers' demands. Broaden your employment options by looking to the skills you have, instead of the job title, said SimplyHired's Godhwani.
"When you talk about job seekers, they're used to doing jobs that aren't there anymore," he said.
But job seekers may have specific skills that can be applied to other jobs.
"You can come up with opportunities you haven't dreamed," Godhwani said. "The job title search isn't as beneficial as a skills-based search."
Get out in front of employers, whether in person, at events or through social media, said Kathy Masera, publisher of California Job Journal.
"The No. 1 thing is networking," Masera said. "You have to become active. You can't act passively. When you can put face to name, you've entered the world of networking."
Emphasize the "soft skills" of communication, flexibility, teamwork and dependability, said Terri Carpenter of Sacramento Employment and Training Agency.
"That's something we hear year after year from employers. The most important thing to them is soft skills," Carpenter said.
"Are you coachable? Can you adapt to new situations and challenges? If in the first 90 days the job doesn't work out, chances are it's a soft skills issue," Carpenter said.
Job help workshops set
Unemployed professionals can find free job search help in a 16-week series of workshops starting Thursday in Sacramento.
Organizers call the series "Professional Edge," with sessions on developing a personal brand, using social media to broaden your job-search network, interviewing strategies and post-interview tips.
The classes are offered by the California Employers Association.
Classes are 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursdays at Sacramento Employment and Training Agency, 925 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento.
For more information, call the employers association's Terry Paterson at (916) 921-1312 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Investigation firm hiring
Want a job at a private investigation firm? Here's a clue: Granite Bay firm L.S. Baker Investigations is looking for sales professionals to join the agency and draw potential clients.
The firm specializes in fraud investigations, but also handles workers' compensation, property and missing persons cases, Baker said.
The sales openings are commission-only jobs and are either in-person or telephone sales, with the possibility of travel.
Applicants can mail résumés to L.S. Baker Investigations, P.O. Box 2298, Granite Bay, CA 95746.
Let us hear from you
Is your company hiring? Is your organization hosting a career fair? Is your campus rolling out a job skills program? Contact Job Front at email@example.com.