The recent U.S. unemployment rate has improved slightly as of December 2010. We're still over 9% and this is a far cry from the 5-6% decade average before the recession.
If you consider the unemployment rates by level of formal education, the rates drop drastically for those with some college education, and recent rates (various sources) for 4-year college graduates are about half of the overall average.
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As businesses return to growth, there is a need to bolster their top-line revenue generators (sales and marketing) as well as IT staff for desired system upgrades, website enhancements, and integration between order-entry and shipping systems, for example.
Small businesses traditionally have contributed the majority of new positions to the economy (companies with 50 or fewer employees). Small businesses look to marketing, sales, and product development to establish their identity and create sustainable growth in their market. Cash flow is often more of a concern for small businesses than their larger counterparts.
If you're looking for employment with a small business, do your research and have an understanding of typical small business challenges as well as the company's growth vision.
If you're interviewing with a business that designs e-learning courses for local companies, think about how you can help the company extend its reach through sales resource allocation, technology support, and marketing strategies. Businesses are in business to make a profit and if you can inspire the employer to hire you because you share that vision, your odds of working for that company will increase drastically.
Nobody is going to hire you because you need a job. They will hire you because you've branded yourself as an innovative resource who can bring value to their company. Pretend you are running the business with which you are interviewing, and bring that entrepreneurial spirit to the job interview.