PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The coronavirus pandemic pushed many people to switch to remote work, but the local job market is beginning to soften and it appears to be shifting back toward more in-person employment.

Companies are more picky over who they hire and remote jobs are nearly impossible to find right now in Rhode Island, according to job recruiting professional Dawn Apajee.

“There is definitely a mismatch between candidates who are looking for remote or hybrid,” Apajee said. “There aren’t many jobs like that, certainly not in Rhode Island.”

Apajee is president of City Personnel, a recruiting and staffing agency in Providence. She said the medical field is desperate for workers right now.

“There is a definite shortage in that field,” she said. “I think it was a repercussion of the pandemic — they lost a lot of good candidates because of the vaccine mandate.”

If you’re looking to apply for a new job, Apajee said having a simple format on your resume is key and offered the following tips:

  • Keep it to two pages.
  • Use words that show results instead of skills. 
    • Examples: collaborated, delegated, completed.  
  • Tailor your cover letter to the specific position you are applying for.
  • Check for errors.

She also mentioned taking advantage of AI platforms like Chat GPT that use free templates.

Apajee said the job market is not as robust as it was last year with fewer jobs and companies are taking longer to make hiring decisions.

“Sprinkling of some key words throughout the resume and cover letter is key to get that resume to be picked up,” she said.

The R.I. Department of Labor and Training reported the state’s June unemployment rate totaled 2.9%, although there are some signs the job market is softening. The agency is expected to report July numbers on Thursday.

The Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council earlier this month released its second-quarter economic report, showing Rhode Island-based jobs declined both from the prior quarter and year-over-year.

“Rhode Island’s economy has been growing over the last several years, but recently growth has slowed, and now the data appears to indicate that economic expansion has stalled out,” RIPEC President and CEO Michael DiBiase said in a statement.

“We do not have enough data at this point to know for sure where the economy is heading, but given these warning signs, third quarter data could indicate a turning point in Rhode Island’s economic outlook,” he added.

University of Rhode Island economics professor Len Lardaro this week raised concerns about the state’s payroll employment numbers, highlighting that they have declined each month since April.

“So, not only is employment well below pre-pandemic levels, it is now falling even farther,” he wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.

Sarah Guernelli ( is the consumer investigative reporter for 12 News. Connect with her on Twitter and on Facebook.