While the Houston area was not hit as hard as some areas of the country during the economic downturn, some Houstonians have found themselves out of work or searching for a better position over the past few years. Recently, the national number of people seeking unemployment benefits fell 24,000 in July to a seasonally adjusted 334,000, the Labor Department reported, which provides proof for an improving job market nationwide, with even better statistics in the Houston area.

According to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Greater Houston Partnership, Houston has recovered more than 230 percent of the jobs that were lost in the economic crisis, meaning that for every layoff in 2008, there have now been more than two jobs created through the first quarter of 2013. Now that the market appears to be looking up, where should job-seekers be looking for new positions?

Many of the fastest-growing businesses in the Houston area are in the energy and manufacturing sectors, which is good news for those on the job hunt. These industries are widespread and are looking for employees with a number of backgrounds, including engineering, technology, computers and the sciences. Houston is known as an energy capital, with more than 5,000 companies operating within the energy industry in the Houston area. Additionally, these industries have been growing at a steady rate in spite of the remainder of the economy lagging behind, which has put them at a great advantage to other organizations now that the economy has started to improve. But how can a prospective employee with the right background make sure they land a job?

Ramon Santillan, chief interview consultant and founder of Persuasive Interview, knows that the right interview can be key to finding a dream job in one of these growing sectors. “Many job seekers have the attitude that the hiring company has all the power during the interview process and that is untrue. Instead of thinking ‘I hope they hire me,’ you have to position yourself to where the hiring company thinks, ‘I hope he/she accepts our offer.’ They have a need for an employee just as much as you do for an employer.”

Gillian Kruse is a freelance writer living in Houston. She graduated from Rice University with a great love for all performing and visual arts. She enjoys writing about arts and cultural events, especially little-known ones, to help Houstonians learn about what’s going on in their city. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.


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