Summary: Follow these 10 tips for searching for a job in a bad economy to find that job you’ve been looking for.
In uncertain economic times, finding a job might feel like trying to find a needle in a haystack. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed and frustrated with your search. So what can you do to remain upbeat and optimistic during these challenging times?
From my more than 20 years’ experience I’ve found the following tips and words of wisdom can help maintain motivation and provide direction while looking for that perfect job.
- Use this time to assess what you want to do, where you want to do it and for whom. This is not a time to resign yourself to being a victim of the economic environment but rather a time to decide how you can contribute to the economy. Identify suitable target markets for your skills and you will greatly increase your potential for landing interviews.
- Job security as we traditionally think of it does not exist in today’s labor market. Job security today comes from within – you need to be both a generalist and a specialist. It is important to continually broaden your skill sets and keep them current. This will give you the versatility to respond to an ever-changing, demanding labor market and remain competitive.
- Gain visibility. Network, network, network. It’s not who you know but who knows you. Will they think of you when they learn of a job opportunity?
- Remain persistent. Job search is a “no, no, yes” process. On average, a job search will take 15 weeks and requires 12 to 16 different company interviews to produce one offer. The harder your work, the sooner you’ll get to the “yes.”
- Focus on maintaining self-esteem. A prolonged job search can be very stressful. Don’t fall prey to a victim mentality in this recession because, as one employer told me, companies don’t want to hire victims.
- Fine-tune your résumé and interviewing skills through ongoing critiquing and practicing. Your career-services center will be able to help you do this.
- Identify a competent mentor to guide you through the job-search process. This process can be complex, and it could be helpful to have an adviser to call on. Especially during a recession when employers have their pick of candidates, there can be many steps involved in the job-search process, so it’s important that you consult with professionals who will help you overcome obstacles you may encounter.
- Join a job-search group composed of peers, either through your church, university or community. Such groups are designed to provide job leads, support and accountability.
- Pursue as many appropriate avenues as possible for job leads, i.e., Internet job boards, newspaper ads, company websites and word of mouth. (See Granted, EmploymentCrossing, and Hound).
- Recent graduates should always feel comfortable in going back to their alma maters for guidance. Schedule an appointment with your career-management center and use their connections and advice. Remember that you are not alone, and there are many resources at your fingertips.