Job forecast and mid-year career check

2012 is halfway through, and unless the Mayans are right about the world ending this winter, job seekers have a reason to look forward to the second half of the year. CareerBuilder’s mid-year job forecast expects improved hiring conditions in the latter half of 2012, with 44 percent of private-sector employers reporting that they are planning to hire full-time, permanent staff from July 1 through Dec. 31, 2012, up nine percent from the same period last year.

Matt Ferguson, CEO of CareerBuilder, says that in previous years, hiring activity was mainly driven by large employers that recruited in metropolitan areas. However, current conditions in the job market point to openings in all industries, market sizes and company sizes. The outlook is positive for the remainder of 2012 but will follow the same pattern of steady progress.

Where employers are hiring first
Employers are first hiring in several top areas to impact revenue and innovation, which means that customer service is the No. 1 field for hiring, with 24 percent.Information technology is close behind with 22 percent, followed by sales with 21 percent.

Employers are also hiring administrative positionsbusiness development,accounting/finance and marketing  in large numbers.

Your mid-year career check
What does this all mean for your job search? The nationwide survey points to several clear trends in hiring, which can help you reassess your plan for seeking a job. Here’s an overview to guide you toward the industries, areas and positions that are hiring now.

Location, location, location: The West is best for hiring, with employers in this region reporting the highest year-over-year increase for adding full-time, permanent employees at 47 percent, followed by the South at 45 percent, the Northeast at 44 percent and the Midwest at 40 percent. You can get creative with your job search and combine different areas of growth to improve your chances of getting hired. Customer service is an area seeing an increase in hiring, and searching for those jobs in the West, where full-time, permanent employees are getting hired the most, could be a smart career move if relocation is an option for non-Westerners.

Small businesses: While small businesses have been more cautious in hiring new employees, the numbers are slowly increasing. Thirty-four percent of companies with 500 or fewer employees say they are hiring full-time, permanent employees, up from 27 percent in 2011. Thirty-one percent of companies with 250 or fewer employees and 21 percent of those with 50 or fewer employees also report they are hiring full-time, permanent employees. Since small businesses are gradually hiring, job seekers with specific training or talents will likely have better odds at being hired. Smaller businesses don’t always have the resources to provide on-the-job training, and instead need job candidates with strong backgrounds in their field.

Newly created positions: More employers are reporting that new job functions have been created within their organizations. Jobs that didn’t exist five years ago are now growing to meet new technology needs, including positions tied to:

To improve your odds of getting noticed for one of these newer positions, make your résumé specific to the job you’re applying for, as well as your cover letter. Focus on the language provided in the job description, and include any and all relevant training and experience you’ve gotten in recent years. Proving you’re relevant and can keep up with change will put you in the spotlight for newly created positions.

The conditions for the second half of 2012 look positive, and the variety in the size and location of companies hiring is a good indicator that larger groups of job seekers will be able to enter the work force soon.

Originally posted on

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