5 Practical Tips on How to Find a Great Job During a Recession

Close to a half a million Americans are losing their jobs since the last quarter of 2008 when the financial crisis hit the U.S. and swept the entire globe. While economists conclude that we have already seen and felt the worst of the recession, and basic economic indicators show that this crisis is bottoming-out; however, the unemployment rate continue to average between 8 to 9 percent every month.

A Shrinking Job Market

Worse, even if the economy normalizes, job opportunities will remain scarce because most companies who downsized during the downturn are not likely hire additional employees in the next few months. Newer technologies, a more competent and lean workforce, and efficient management systems were adopted and given priorities. Thus, hiring additional employees will take a back seat for while.

So, where does this leaves you as a job seeker? The job market is shrinking, and many more are vying for a piece of that small pie. If more people are still losing their jobs, how can you possibly find great job opportunities in recession?

Job Opportunities in Crisis

Understandably, the current economic prognosis is still not good, but there should be no reason to lose hope. I believe that the ancient Chinese traders were right when they say that there are actually “opportunities in crisis” such are there are great job opportunities in recession. In fact, some jobs were created because of this slowdown. The key is finding these job opportunities and grabbing them.

More so, even if more people are joining the ranks of the unemployed, you can still find better paying jobs if you try to find them in the right places. I have learned, as an HR Practitioner, that those who can easily get a job are those who are proactive and persistent. Look and ye shall find! Knock and the door shall be opened to you!

Practical Tips to Follow in Job Hunting

Okay, while you’re at it, here 5 practical tips on how to find a great job during recession:

    1. Look for jobs on the internet; it is more time efficient and cost-effective. If you have a Twitter account, try to search for a specific job in your area and you will be surprised to find how many job opening being twitted every minute. Better yet, network with these headhunter twitters so that you get to have a firsthand info to new job ads.
    1. Refine your resume to highlight knowledge, skills, and other professional strengths that will add value to an organization. Do not write a resume that ‘fits all.’ Customized each resume for a specific job position you are applying for. You need not overhaul your entire resume; just highlight your competencies and experiences to suit the job or position you desire.
    2. Rehearse (if possible, master by heart) your answers for possible interview questions with someone. Ask their opinions how you can improve your answers or presentations. There are only less than 10 questions that are commonly asked during job interviews. And more often, the same question is being asked in several different ways. For example, “Tell me about yourself” is similar to “Why should we hire you?” “What can you do for the organization?” “What are your strengths?” or “How can you add value to the organization?” The focus is on your competencies or qualifications for the job. The secret of giving a good answer lies on how well you understood what is being asked and the underlying intent/s behind. Lastly, you might want to write your answers and see how you can improve them.
    3. Be the solution! Be proactive! Apply to organizations you deemed would need your expertise even if they were not hiring. Most progressive companies with good Human Resource Management Department usually gives chances to people who present themselves as problem solvers.
    4. Do your numbers! Meaning, apply to as many organizations as you can. Do not just zero-in on one or two, so that you will have the upper hand in deciding which job interview to prioritize, and ultimately which job offer to accept. Don’t stop searching even if you are already waiting for a job offer or two. Again, it pays to give yourself the latitude to choose which organization you think will suit best your interest. Besides, hiring companies have always the prerogative to make last minute hiring decisions. Do your numbers.

Perseverance is Key to Job Search Success

I know that this 5-point advice sounds too simplistic and easy; nevertheless, the most important element of job hunting success is perseverance. Again, do your numbers. Do not wait for those calls, do the follow-up yourself and continue sending those resumes. Do this, regardless of the economic climate; you will get that dream job of yours.

Hiring an Outside Screening Company to Perform Pre-Employment Screening

Many employers that are required by law to perform background screening on their employees employ either an in-house screening team or, in most cases, an outside screening company. Although partnering with a reputable outside screening service to handle their background check requirements is standard practice for many employers, still others, large and small, wonder if it’s a good idea.

Pre-employment screening can be expensive. For this reason, smaller employers wonder if they should handle their own background screening. For the most part, simple reference checks are easily handled by an organization’s HR department. However, more extensive screening may be best handled by a professional. Just as an employer won’t generally handle their own drug screening needs, they probably shouldn’t handle their own criminal records screening either.

There are several reasons why it’s a good idea to hire an outside screening company, not the least of which is the fact that a reputable screening service will be far more aware of the laws that govern pre-employment screening than the average employer.

So, what should employers look for in a screening partner?

• First, a screening agency should be reputable. Employers can check with the Better Business Bureau and ask for references from screening companies they are considering. It’s also a good idea to check with business associates and other reliable sources for recommendations.

• Second, a screening service should be experienced. Inexperienced screening services may include information that unfairly influences an employer’s decision or may fail to include pertinent information that an employer needs to know. Partnering with an experienced agency is a great way to ensure that information is complete.

• Third, a screening company should be thorough. A reputable agency assures an employer that they see the process through from start to finish. They not only guarantee that they comply with all state and federal laws but that they handle the administrative work involved in the process such as getting applicant permission, providing notices, and preparing reports.

• Fourth, a screening agency should provide information about their services. When considering any screening service, an employer should receive information about the company, the services it provides, how it complies with the legal aspects of the process, how it handles the administrative aspects of the process, and what guarantees it provides to the employer.

With workplace violence and the legal liabilities such incidents generate on the rise, employers can’t be too careful in making sure they make the best hiring decisions possible. Partnering with a reputable employment screening service can take a lot of the worry out of complying with state and federal laws, properly administering the process, and accessing a proper and thorough report. Even a small oversight in an employer’s do-it-yourself attempt at a criminal background check can leave that employer open to more legal liability than bargained for. In the long run, it may be wise to hire a reputable employment screening agency to reduce the risk of hiring the wrong person.

7 Life Changing Benefits of Setting Career Goals

Has your career stalled? Don’t have a clear view of your future? You could do your job in your sleep? Maybe you should develop a written career plan with clearly set out goals. If you have a career plan, with a focus of something to aim for, something to work for, a method to measure progress you’ll discover a variety of positive results.

There is one thing you must do before starting your journey. Write down your career goals. It can’t be emphasized to much that your career goals must be written. They must be measurable and reachable. Don’t try to jump the Grand Canyon in one leap. Keep the career goals in a series of smaller steps. If you plan on reading, for example, 120 books in the next five years, that’s two a month. Make your objective in your career plan to read two books a month. This is much easier to achieve and keep score.

Don’t forget to add a fitness component to the career plan. How is your fitness level? See your doctor and then get started. A physically fit person, knows their increased concentration and endurance will allow them to perform their job at a higher level. Don’t neglect this aspect of your career plan.

Also, when you draft up your career goals, concentrate on the top three to five objectives. Write them on a card. Put a copy in your check book, on the visor in your car. Write them out on your laptop or computer screen saver so every time you turn on your computer you read the career goals.

Setting career goals can provide you with the following series of benefits all which will help you grow and grow your career.

1. Career goals will give you a focus, a picture of where you want to be. With this picture firmly set in your mind, you will find ways to move toward your objective.

2. Making progress toward a goal can be a big motivator. As you reach each milestone it provides you with the motivation to keep going, to keep improving.

3. Success comes to those who set career goals. Once you begin working toward a written goal you have set the picture of the planned result in your mind and you will set aside the time and put forth the effort to reach the goal.

4. Your confidence will increase as each step in your career goal is reached. Building on this confidence will give you the effort required to work at and reach the next in your career plan.

5. Each time we set a goal and reach it we grow as a person. This allows us to build on our knowledge and experience base to reach farther.

6. Reaching career and personal goals will develop one of the most important attitudes that measure success. As you become more confident, you will become more positive. You view of the future will be more assured and this confident attitude will attract more positive people to you and more positive things will happen to you.

7. With one of your career goals to improve your level of fitness, as you become more fit, your enjoyment of the world around you will grow. Your ability, on occasion, to work longer hours will not sap your endurance. You’ll be able to do things in your off hours that will add spice to your life. You’ll have more balance in your life and this will lead to even more interesting adventures.

So the benefits of setting career goals are they give you a focus, they generate motivation, they develop success, they increase confidence, they allow you to grow as a person, they build a positive attitude and they bring a balance and enjoyment into your life.

Now is the best time to start your career planning. With written career goals you too will begin experiencing these seven important life long benefits.