How the Bureau of Labor Statistics can aid your job hunt

Whether you’ve just completed your degree and are about to start job hunting, or you’re trying to decide what to study in the first place, choosing a career path isn’t always easy. Even with all the technology and tools we have available in the modern age, it can be difficult to know what type of job you’ll benefit from (and enjoy) long-term. However, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is an incredibly useful resource that can help you in your job search — and you might not have heard of it before. If you haven’t been using it, now is the time to start.

 

What is the Bureau of Labor Statistics?

As the name implies, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is a government agency whose main function is to keep tabs on the job markets and all of the data surrounding them. This site allows you to search statistics on particular jobs, certain fields, and even regions of the country so you can see what the patterns have been in the past and get a sense of what qualifications make someone a good fit for a specific job. You can get an idea of what the salary is like as well as what benefits (if any) are standard for that job. The site also offers predictions for specific industries, giving you a sense of whether they are likely to grow or shrink based on previous trends.

 

How can data benefit job seekers?

Having so much information at your fingertips when you’re looking for a new job might feel overwhelming, but it can be very beneficial if you know what to look for and how to use it.

For example, as The Balance Careers points out, you can search the Bureau of Labor Statistics database for related jobs within a certain field. This is ideal for when you want to do something similar to a particular job, but you just don’t know what all the options are. The information in the Occupational Outlook Handbook is also useful, as it lets you know what sort of salary you should (or shouldn’t) accept, what kind of industry growth you’re looking at, and even what jobs are growing in each region of the country.

Having this information lets you know if your expectations are too high or too low, and you can verify what qualifications, degrees, experience, etc. you’re going to need in order to appeal as a candidate for a particular position. In some circumstances, you may even discover related jobs in the field that you didn’t know were options, opening up entirely new career paths!

Most importantly, though, all the information the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides can help when it comes to the interview and negotiation process. The more information you have, the smarter decisions you’ll make when you’re being offered a job — and if you can back up your requests with up-to-date information, you may find that you can angle for a better package for your new employment.

 

Remember, there’s no silver bullet

When it comes to job searching, it’s important to remember that no one tool will give you all the expertise you need. While technology and the widespread availability of information have made things easier, it still takes hard work to find the job you really want. Most importantly, though, remember that technology can’t conduct your search for you. You’re at the helm, and you’re the one who’s calling the shots, so make sure you have all the information you need when plotting your career path!


Speaking of career paths, need some help planning yours? Check out this blog post

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Written by Guild Education

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