By Margaret Magnarelli
September 2, 2014

Even if you’ve had it up to here with your current job, you probably slowed your search for a new one during June, July, and August.

Between summer Fridays, long weekends, and week-long vacations—your own and those of your bosses—you likely found the situation just a little easier to swallow. Not that you’d have had much choice: In most industries, hiring activity is sluggish in the dog days of summer anyway.

Now that Labor Day has come and gone, though, you might be thinking about buckling down on your hunt for the red-hot opportunity. Good timing. Many fields experience a frenzy of hiring in the fall, as companies rush to use extra funds in personnel budgets by year’s end.

To put your search in overdrive, consider one of the following bold moves. You might be surprised at how soon you’re having that exit interview you’ve long been running through in your head.

1. Use the Most-Desired Keywords

Job listing aggregator Indeed.com reviews millions of online employment ads across thousands of sites to find common keywords. The 10 below are the fastest growing. So if you’ve got any of these skills already under your belt, wear them proudly in your résumé and cover letter as well. (And if you don’t have ’em, ask around to see if it’s worth getting more experience in these areas.)

  1. HTML5
  2. MongoDB
  3. iOS
  4. Android
  5. Mobile App
  6. Puppet
  7. Hadoop
  8. jQuery
  9. PaaS
  10. Social Media

2. Go Where the Jobs Are

Picking up and moving isn’t an option for everyone. But for those who have the flexibility, relocating your career may pay off.

Job listing site CareerBuilder recently assessed total job growth for the 50 biggest U.S. metro areas between 2010 and 2013 versus the growth that would have been expected in the locations based on national trends to come up with what it called the “competitive effect.” Due to specialized industries, these locales had the greatest edge:

CITY # JOBS ADDED, 2010-2013 KEY HIRING INDUSTRIES
1 Houston, TX 250,607 oil and gas, mining, architectural and engineering services, education
2 Dallas, TX 221,161 commerical banking, computer systems, education, hospitals
3 San Francisco, CA 165,768 computer systems, Internet businesses, corporate management
4 Los Angeles, CA 283,664 TV/film, payroll and accounting, medical instruments, missile and aerospace manufacturing
5 Austin, TX 84,774 data processing/hosting, computer systems, scientific/technical consulting, semiconductors
6 Phoenix, AZ 124,501 higher education, commercial banking, professional organizations, semiconductors
7 Miami, FL 134,588 legal services, business support, freight transportation, payroll services, real estate
8 San Jose, CA 90,559 computer systems design, computer/semiconductor manufacturing, software publishing
9 Detroit, MI 125,330 motor vehicle manufacturing, engineering services and temporary help services
10 Riverside, CA 76,646 warehousing and storage, offices of physicians, and heavy and civil engineering

Alternately, you might focus your search on one of these cities, which Indeed.com found to have the greatest number of job listings per capita. You’ll notice a bit of overlap. Also worth noting: San Jose, which makes both lists, is also the only city among the 50 most populous with a ratio of 2 to 1 for job postings per unemployed person, according to Indeed.

METRO AREA JOB POSTINGS
PER 1000 PEOPLE
1 San Jose, CA 123
2 Raleigh, NC 90
3 Washington, D.C. 82
4 Boston, MA 80
5 Hartford, CT 79
6 Baltimore, MD 74
7 Denver, CO 74
8 San Francisco, CA 70
9 Charlotte, NC 70
10 Austin, TX 64

3. Get In on a Growth Industry…

According to Indeed.com, these five fields have experienced the greatest growth in job listings over the past year. The easiest ways to switch to a new field: Look for a role that parallels yours (for example, if you work in marketing at a retail firm, you could look for marketing jobs at a transportation company) and/or focus on your “transferrable” skills. The good news is that growth fields often experience labor shortages, so you have a better chance as someone without industry experience than in other fields.

INDUSTRY GROWTH/
PAST YEAR
GROWTH/
PAST QUARTER
GROWTH/
PAST MONTH
1 Transportation 122% 33% 9%
2 Hospitality 43% 1% -1%
3 Construction 39% 4% 1%
4 Manufacturing 35% 5% 2%
5 Media 24% 5% 2%


4. …Or a Growth Occupation

Similarly, changing your role can help you gain more traction in your search. The “hottest jobs of 2014” list below from CareerBuilder includes roles that grew 7% or more from 2010 to 2013, are projected to increase in 2014, and pay $22 or more per hour.

JOB CATEGORY TOTAL EMPLOYED IN 2013 JOB GROWTH,
2010-2013
MEDIAN HOURLY
EARNINGS
1 Software Developers, Applications and Systems Software 1,042,402 11% $45
2 Market Research Analysts and Marketing Specialists 438,095 14% $29
3 Training and Development Specialists 231,898 8% $27
4 Financial Analysts 257,159 7% $37
5 Physical Therapists 207,132 7% $38
6 Web Developers 136,921 11% $28
7 Logisticians 127,892 10% $35
8 Database Administrators 119,676 10% $37
9 Meeting, Convention and Event Planners 87,082 14% $23
10 Interpretors and Translators 69,887 14% $22

5. Target Companies that are Hiring

A few weeks ago, Time ran an article from its partner site The Muse on 10 companies that are hiring like crazy right now. These include professional services firm Deloitte and textbook retailer Chegg.com and software company Atlassian.

Besides checking out those companies, you might also look into the following, which CareerBuilder reported were hiring in August.

COMPANY INDUSTRY LOCATIONS
1 ADP Human capital management CA, GA, IL, NJ, NY, TX
2 Advanced Technology
Services
Factory maintenance, industrial
parts, IT services
Nationwide
3 Bloomin Brands Restaurant Nationwide
4 Bohler Engineering Professional engineering services DC, FL, MD, NC, NY, PA,
VA, and New England
5 DialAmerica Call centers CA, FL, IN, NE, PA, SC, TN
6 DLZ Engineering Engineering IL, IN, MI, OH
7 Eagle Transport Corporation Transportation DE, FL, GA, KY, TN, NC,
SC, VA
8 Elderwood Senior care NY, MA, PA, RI
9 Guckenheimer Hospitality/food service CA, MA, MO, WA, TX
10 Healthfirst Health care FL, NY

You might also take a hint from this graphic from aggregator Simply Hired: Concentrate on companies in the Inc 500 list, as this phrase appears in job ads more often—by a wide margin—than Fortune 50, 100, or 500.

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