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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.