I talked to Indeed Economist, AnnElizabeth Konkel to get a better understanding of how you can be successful in the job market even in the middle of a slow economy. To get started, Konkel says you should follow these five simple tips:
It's always important to have an up-to-date resume on hand for any opportunities that may arise, but it's especially important during a recession. Competition is at an all-time high, which means it's important that you stand out. If you haven't updated your resume in a while, take the time to see if there's anything that you can add. Consider these things:
If you aren't sure what should be on your resume, read a few current job descriptions for your type of work. Figure out what you're missing and find a way to get those skills. For example, if most job descriptions in your field mention a specific program, you may need to take a class on the program and then add it to your resume.
For more ways to improve your resume, check out these secrets to resume success. You'll find nine tips to make your resume stand out including how to rework your objective statement, what to include in your areas of expertise and what to leave off.
Once your resume is up to date, consider any other relevant documents you may want to update including your cover letter or work sample portfolio. If you've recently left a job, you may want to get copies of performance records or work samples as well. It's also not a bad idea to update and/or check-in with your references.
When you're searching for jobs, especially during a recession, be sure to look past the job title alone. Read the job description closely and look at the skills required, the daily responsibilities and the company that's hiring. You may find that you're perfect for a job even it's not what you originally pictured.
For example, I found the following job posting on Indeed:
I was searching for content writing positions, but after reading this job description, I noticed the skills required include the following: technology use (Microsoft Office), writing, attention to detail, communication, collaboration, motivation, time management and organization.
While “Freelance Resume Writer” may not be the dream job I had in mind, I think I could do it! I would go ahead and apply to this position, especially during a recession.
Beyond the skills, pay attention to the company that's hiring. You may be able to start at a related position and work your way up at a company in your field. Be sure to apply to companies that you trust and would enjoy working for. While you're searching, also try to look for work that will withstand the recession.
Very few industries emerge from slow economy completely unscathed, but growth industries will always need more workers to continue functioning. Unlike retail and construction, jobs in some fields will always be necessary such as health care, education, business, information technology, energy and government among others.
You'll also find job summaries, required entry-level education and last year's median pay in addition to projected growth. Also, be sure to check out the BLS' job search tools and resources.
Especially during a recession, it's important to focus your efforts on sustainable jobs that will offer you some sort of financial security.
One of the best ways to find available jobs is by letting people know you're looking for one. Reach out to your professional network and social circle to let them know what kind of work you're looking for.
If you don't have a LinkedIn account, set one up now and start making connections. Other great ways to land a job include building your network, both in-person and virtually, as well as applying to jobs online.
Use your time off during a recession to continue adding to your resume. You can take online classes for free to beef up your list of skills or even pursue formal education. Be sure to think ahead and know this recession won't last forever.
Keep applying and continue to pursue companies and fields that interest you. The motivation you maintain throughout a recession could give you the edge necessary to land your dream job.
Finding a job in a recession can be difficult, but it's certainly not impossible. Increase your chances of getting hired by ensuring your resume is up-to-date and that it reflects all your accomplishments. When it's time to apply, focus on the skills you know you can perform rather than the job title, as that could expand the number of jobs potentially available to you!
Of course, the most important thing to keep in mind is to remain optimistic and flexible. Know that this recession won’t last forever. Still, the decisions you make during it could have a lasting impact on your career path.
Share your best tips for getting hired in the comments below!