Despite some indications of an economic slowdown, the labor market remains remarkably stable and many workers have reaped the benefits.
A record number of employees even quit their jobs, found a new one, and negotiated along the way.
But not everyone who has joined the so-called Great Reshuffle is better off.
More than a quarter — or 26% — of workers who quit regret their decision, according to a recent survey of more than 15,000 job seekers by Joblist, a job search platform.
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What was once the “Great Surrender” could now be the “Great Return”.
Whether they left in search of higher pay, more flexibility, or to alleviate burnout, “people may realize the grass isn’t greener,” said Antoinette Boyd, director of career success and professional development at Maryville University.
According to Joblist, most said they regretted their dismissal because it was harder than they thought to find a new job, despite job openings reaching near record levels. Others said their new job didn’t live up to their expectations or that they now feel their old job was better than they initially thought.
Furthermore, workers who left in search of a better work-life balance can “find opportunities at the companies they used to work for,” Boyd added, as more employers implement hybrid work schedules and better benefits.
“People used to feel empowered to quit, but now they’re looking at boomerang,” said James Bailey, a professor of leadership development at the George Washington University School of Business.
“Workers felt intoxicated with power,” he said. “Now they are sober.”
Plus, there are benefits to returning to a previous employer, Bailey added. “People are really attracted to the familiarity.”
And there is also a benefit for employers. “The cost of hiring brand new people, as opposed to hiring boomerangs, is just way too high,” he said. “Recruitment and training are expensive.”
“Boomerangs already know the job, so they can downshift seamlessly.”
However, anyone looking for a fresh start, or a relaunch from their previous gig, will still need to apply and face a large pool of candidates.
How do you get hired (again)?
According to Toni Frana, career services manager at FlexJobs, recruiters spend an average of less than seven seconds reviewing an applicant’s resume. “Having a standout resume is more important than ever,” she says.
Having a resume, skills section, and headline under your name can play a key role in helping your resume rise to the top.
“Think of your summary as your virtual introduction,” says Blair Heitmann, career expert on LinkedIn.
Stick to about four or five sentences and consider adding relevant skills and keywords in job descriptions that interest you, she advised.
“A good rule of thumb is to think of your summary as an ‘elevator pitch’ — highlighting what you’re doing it for and what drives you to go to work every day,” Heitmann says.
To showcase your skills, start with the top five most relevant to your job or the job you want, and think broadly about skills you may have gained through other work experience, extracurricular activities, or volunteer work.
Here you can tailor your experience as closely as possible to the specific job you want and include any transferable skills that can add value, such as communication or time management, Heitmann said.
“Job seekers can — and should — add different skills to each of their job descriptions,” she advised.
But don’t just mention what you’ve done. Instead of saying, “I was responsible for managing the front office,” add tangible results, she said. For example, say that you “implemented a new filing system that increased productivity by 15%.”
Finally, put a face to a name. “Don’t underestimate the importance of showing your true self with a great profile picture,” Heitmann said.
That doesn’t mean you need special hair or makeup or fancy gear.
“All it takes is a quick click,” she added. “It’s your virtual handshake and an easy way to be recognized and discovered.”
3 resume mistakes that could lose you that job
- Typing errors. Typos are more common than you think, says Heitmann. “Proofread several times each time you make a change and ask a friend or two to review as well.”
- Don’t align your approach. “Recruiters see an influx of people applying for positions that don’t fit, or for multiple roles at different levels at the same company, which shows that you just apply for anything and see what sticks,” Heitmann said.
Instead, give concrete examples of why you’re a good fit based on the skills you have and the skills needed for the position.
- Stretching the truth. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you’re unprepared for your new job or caught lying. Even if you’re fired, it’s not necessarily a strike like in the past. “Firings are pretty common, so I don’t think anyone should be ashamed of it or hide it,” says Carolyn Kleiman, a career expert at ResumeBuilder.com.
In fact, “some interviewers may have been fired themselves in the past,” adds Stacie Haller, another ResumeBuilder career expert.
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