Job hunting During Tough Times

Job Hunting During Tough Times

A tough economy and limited job opportunities can lead to stress, frustration and the desire to job give up. But job seekers don’t have to thrown in the towel – there are some simple steps they can take in their job search to guarantee results and lead them to the job of their dreams.

Even in the best economy, a job search can be a daunting task. The fact of the matter is that job seekers are competing with other people who have the same goal – getting a job. Fortunately, there are some simple steps that can increase the odds of achieving success, even in an environment where jobs are increasingly scarce. All it takes is some careful thought about the job goal, attention to detail and the willingness to go the extra mile.

Focus on Key Areas Where Employers are Still Hiring

Consider what types of jobs are in high demand. Even in tough times, employers want employees who can help them perform certain key tasks. Some examples: sales, computer programming, SEO, etc. Some online research can help identify areas of opportunity and interest.

Identify the skills, background and traits that match up with the skills that are in demand. Job seekers should not start by identifying a dream, or ideal job. Instead, they should start from the standpoint of what they have to offer and then seek opportunities that match with those skills. They should cast a broad net and not narrow prospects by thinking they can only do what they have always done. Turn skills into benefits that will meet the needs of potential employers. For instance, a candidate with strong interpersonal skills may have a key message that says: “I have an outgoing personality that helps me quickly connect with people. This traits has proven to be effective in generating sales for…”

Prioritize – Pick Jobs That Line Up With Background, Skills and Expertise

Develop a list of possible jobs and companies that might best match with skills and interests. Job seekers should be specific in terms of identifying the people within companies that they will need to connect with – either in person, by mail or through social media. They should learn as much as they can about those companies and positions so they can clearly tie personal attributes and skills to what the company and its HR department and hiring managers are likely looking for.

Make connections. Job seekers should use a variety of means to target desired companies. These might include submitting a traditional resume via snail mail, submitting an application online, connecting with representatives from the company via social media tools like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, and using their own personal and professional network to get a foot in the door.

Be Creative and Willing to Volunteer

Consider an internship or volunteer positions to get a foot in the door. These can be effective means to make connections. Volunteer positions can help to identify, develop or enhance prior skills – or learn new skills. Whether just starting out in a career, between jobs or entering retirement, internships and volunteer opportunities can offer great benefits.

The same process applies, though. A solid background tied to the specific needs and requirements of a job and employer will get the best results.

The steps above will help job applicants stand out from the crowd, even in a tough labor market.

Additional Tips For Landing a Great Job

  • Go the extra mile. It’s not enough to just sit back and wait for information about available jobs to appear. Successful job applicants take the initiative to reach out to companies they’re interested in – even if they haven’t seen a formal position description.
  • Don’t give up. Every lost opportunity is a learning opportunity. Ask for feedback during the job search, and pick up tips and strategies for doing better next time.
  • Don’t settle for just any job – ultimately, there needs to be a good fit both from the employer’s perspective and the employee’s.

Tough economic times can be trying for even the most accomplished job candidate. The techniques that work in any economic environment can be effectively applied, though, by candidates who are committed to doing research to identify the employers and positions that best match their background and credentials, prioritizing jobs based on those that represent the best fit, capitalizing on networking opportunities and being willing to accept positions at less pay – or, in the case of volunteer positions, for no pay – to get a foot in the door.