Although job growth in the San Francisco Bay Area has slowed, many experts forecast a rise in employment postings, particularly in the tech sector. Debbie Melnikoff, a Certified Career Coach and founder of Santa Cruz-based Third Wave Career Coaching, expects the Bay Area job market to rise moderately and offers valuable professional advice for job seekers.


(Photo Courtesy of Debbie Melnikoff)

(Photo Courtesy of Debbie Melnikoff)

What is your background?

“My company provides career transition and job search strategy coaching including social media job search strategy and career branding. Prior to opening my practice in 2009, I spent over 20 years in corporate Human Resources, managing talent acquisitions, and was an executive coach for such companies as Texas Instruments and Sun Microsystems. I have a M.S. in Career Counseling from San Francisco State University and a B.A. in Social Sciences and Psychology from the UC Berkeley.”

What is your expert opinion on the jobs market in the SF Bay Area in the upcoming year?

“The San Francisco Bay Area job market will continue to expand at a moderate pace over the next year, probably by two percent. We are seeing many positive signs including modest growth in the construction and housing sectors. Tech will continue to make California and the Bay Area in particular a solid bet for job seekers. The Bay Area’s hospitality industry has also seen a rebound with San Francisco regaining occupancy rates close to pre-recession levels.”

“Of course, ObamaCare will have a huge impact on the type of employment growth expected over the next year. With the uncertainty surrounding health care costs, we should see a surge in the contingency workforce as corporations lean on temporary and part-time workers to shave the costs associated with benefits.”

What advice do you have for job seekers?

“As companies focus on shaving labor costs and the supply and demand favors employers, job seekers must do whatever they can to stand out and attract employers. It’s not about finding that next job; it’s all about ‘hiring your next employer.’ Networking is a must for any job seeker today as 80 percent or more of jobs are found via the hidden job market. Get out from behind your keyboard and focus your energy on making personal connections with those who can introduce you to people who have the power to hire you.”

“Job seekers must be able to convince employers how they can solve immediate short-term problems. Show how you can affect the bottom line by saving money, making money and expanding the business. Employers are less concerned about satisfying your career aspirations and are more interested in learning how you can solve their immediate needs.”

“You must have an online presence. Having a well-crafted LinkedIn profile with regularly updated statuses to showcase your brand and what you can offer employers is essential. Nine out of 10 recruiters will view your LinkedIn profile before deciding to contact you.”


Randy Yagi is a freelance writer covering all things San Francisco. In 2012, he was awarded a Media Fellowship from Stanford University. His work can be found on


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