The economy is humming, unemployment is 4.1 percent — the lowest point since 2000 — and wages are starting to rise.

Call that a job hunter's perfect world.

"In general, there are certainly more open roles right now than talent," said Jeff DeLucia, director of talent acquisitions at The Judge Group, based in Wayne.

The professional services firm focuses on the technology sector, which is particularly hot. "It's a good market across the board now," DeLucia added. "Absolutely. The competitiveness varies depending on the skill set … Our clients have a ton of openings."

For those looking for a new gig, DeLucia offers these tips on taking advantage of the tight-market edge to negotiate the best possible deal:

  • Apply, apply, apply. Once you know the type of job you want, apply to competitors in that industry. "That will give you an opportunity to get multiple offers, which will help with negotiating power, salary, benefits, paid time off, that sort of thing, but also show prospective employers that your skill set is in high demand."
  • Work that salary offer. Research typical salary ranges, both locally and nationally, to prepare for the interview. "It will give you good leverage when negotiating as well."
  • Never accept a job offer on the spot. Good companies will typically give prospective hires a few days, even a week to consider an offer. In a tight market, though, some employers want to lock in prospects and reduce the chance of counter offers. "Certainly, be cautious if a company wants an answer right away. It could definitely be a red flag."
  • Money's nice but so are bennies. Consider all the benefits: Paid time off, healthcare, tuition reimbursement, 401K match, etc. Also discuss the typical career trajectory for the position. The salary offer might be lower than expected, but "there are other things [the company] can give you that will inflate the total package."
  • One more thing. Do your due diligence. Spend some time on Linkedin, checking out current and former employees' profiles. Do folks have short stints (not so good) or tenure (good)? Do they get promoted? "Certainly, you can get insight into that company."