It’s the question that seems to have been on everyone’s lips, the topic of most conversations and has been the focus of the 2012 election. Getting a job when the economy was good had it’s challenges, but these are unprecedented times, and conventional methods are out the window.
The economy may be on the mend, but competition is still fierce. So how do you get a job during a down economy? The following tips will help you navigate your way to getting a job during this or any other year.
Understand what you bring to the table
Don’t be constrained to just what’s on your resume. Start with a blank sheet, think about every job and what you liked/disliked about each.
What were you good at, what really interested you, what sorts of tasks and activities made you lose track of time? Then think of specific examples that could be incorporated into your resume, cover letter and job application.
Be well organized
Know where everything is! This means on paper and electronically. You will be able to reuse much of what you write so keep track of every application and your answers to competency-based questions. It’s going to save plenty of time as you can reuse what you wrote and your answers can be revised to fit the position you are applying for.
Go for quality applications not quantity
Too many people think that job searching is a numbers game, and it’s just a case of applying to a certain number of jobs before you get one. This couldn’t be further from the truth!
Don’t just chase anything. Each application should be fully focused on a specific job and you should be clear on why you are applying for that particular job.
Research the job and company
Its critical for you to perform your due diligence and conduct your research on the jobs and companies that you are applying to. Being organized will help you keep track of your applications and the communications that you’ve had with each person at each company.
Go beyond the job boards
Of course you’ll incorporate the major job boards and even the newspaper in your job search, but don’t let this be your sole source of job hunting. This is where your competition will be looking as well.
One of the books that I recommend to friends is the 4 Hour Work Week, by Tim Ferris. In one of the chapters, Ferris discusses how raising the bar and playing in spaces where there is decreased competition will increase your chances of success.
You have to do the same thing when it comes to your job search. Thinking outside the box isn’t enough. You need to be unconventional in your approach. Expand your search to areas where your competition isn’t looking.
Let people know you’re looking
Have a succinct and clear description about your strengths and the type of work you seek. Practice so you can say this in around 30 seconds – your elevator speech. It will help other people to ‘get’ what you are looking for and so can help you find it.
Related: Deliver The Perfect Elevator Pitch
Don’t give up
I don’t want to insult your intelligence. I know this is easier said than done. Rejection is to be expected. You have to be ‘in it to win it’ but there’s so much competition, that no matter how good you are, you may not be always successful in your application process.
After each interview, review your approach, make a note of anything you could have done better (and what went well!) and keep your spirits up for the next application.
Each time you go for an interview you must be as enthusiastic and upbeat as you were the very first time. Don’t come across as resigned to rejection, or that you’re going through the motions of saying the same thing – you must keep your sparkle and enthusiasm.
Question: What is the most difficult thing about trying to find a job during this down economy?