1. Careers
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Job Search Tips for a Difficult Job Market

How to Effectively Job Search in Challenging Times


What can you do to expedite your job search in a difficult job market? Do you need help or do you have to tips to share?

Here's advice on how to ensure your job search is effective in challenging times and here's how to include your job search tips on the list.

Consider a Small Company
If you have big company experience, note that many small companies are run in a seat-of-the-pants fashion with inadequate business processes. The knowledge that big company people can bring to the table often is immensely valuable. If you can latch on as a paid consultant, great. If not, and you have a friend who's a small businessperson, cast some bread upon the waters and help him (or her) gratis. Use this experience both for keeping the resume shipshape and for adding to your own knowledge base.
Mark Kolakowski, About.com Guide to Financial Careers

Transfer Your Skills
Figure out a way to transfer your skills to a recession-proof industry such as healthcare - if you're not already in the medical field (the only industry currently adding jobs, other than mining). Think of how your current skill set and experience could translate into a career in the medical field. For example, if you're in sales, consider medical sales roles. If you're in accounting, there are many accounting roles available in medical manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, clinics, etc. Not all healthcare careers require advanced medical degrees and certifications, such as non-clinical positions, and some lower-level allied healthcare jobs.
Andrea Santiago, About.com Guide to Health Careers

Use a Headhunter
If you've been laid off, or if you still have a job but worry you might be laid off, seek out a headhunter. A headhunter can help you broaden your search and will be able to look for jobs for you...whether you're at work or looking for work.
Rachel Deahl, About.com Guide to Media Careers

It may take months to find a job, but to keep from falling into a slough of despair, bolster your resume with work of some kind. Nonprofits will be looking for more volunteers as funds decrease, but their clients' needs increase. Also, here are more nonprofit job hunting tips for troubled times.
Joanne Fritz, Ph.D., About Guide to Nonprofits

Keep Your Network Active
I would say, keep your network active. About 75% of jobs are never posted publicly before they're filled, so those successful candidates were well-networked. Make sure you stay in touch with people and help them as you can, because you never know when you'll need their help.
Katherine Lewis, About.com Guide to Working Moms

Have a Career Safety Net
LinkedIn's capacity to be a career safety net, especially in an economy like the one we're currently in, is extremely useful regardless of what industry you're in. Staying connected to people that you have worked with, know and trust can be a huge help. A lot of times the best jobs aren't posted on job boards. They may only be uncovered via close connections or relationships with someone that knows someone who works at the company. LinkedIn enables you to unlock the power of your connections' connections.
Krista Canfield, PR Manager at LinkedIn

Know What You Want
It is also important to have a very clear idea of the type of job one is looking for, and to provide demonstrable ways of adding value and the ability to "get things done" for a prospective employer. Employers are even more bottom-line oriented in a downturn and need to be shown very clearly the value that a candidate can bring.
Josh Chernin, Web Industries, Inc.

Know What's Publicly Available About You
Execunet.com conducted a survey of 100 executive recruiters, noting that 77% used sites such as Spock to learn more about a person and 35% of those had eliminated a candidate based on information uncovered. You should therefore get in the habit of regularly performing a Spock and Google search for your name and e-mail. Any information you see will represent what any good recruiter or hiring manager will look for before or after an interview. In this case it's best to use a people specific search service, which will look deeper and is more likely to display information about you. Always remember to search for yourself by additional keywords such as location or university.
Jay Bhatti is the co-founder and VP of Marketing at Spock.com

Use a Business Card
Be sure you have a business card with your name, the title (description) you want to be remembered for (ie - Global Program Manager, Dell/IBM) your email address and cell phone number. This is a quick reminder, easy to hand out, and you should never leave home without them.
Kay Stout, Oklahoma Professional Search, and author of the Another Point of View.

Use State Employment Services
There is a tendency among professionals to think that State employment services provide no assistance for anybody other than blue collar and unskilled workers when that is definitely not the case. Each State operates employment services offices and other State sponsored services in most metropolitan communities across the Country, and each of these offices provide services for the unemployed, the soon to be unemployed, the underemployed at every skill level, including professionals. Most State employment services also provide specific Veterans' services and opportunities for professionals to meet and network.
Charles Caro, Founder, Community Commerce Centers Initiative

Have Your Resume Professionally Written
Have a professional write your resume. I've seen many many resumes that are two pages chock full of words and at the end of it, I still have absolutely no idea what the person can do. One of the worst is "Analyze data" - does that mean someone gave you an excel printout and you reviewed it? Or does it mean you gathered quantitative data, input it into statistical software yourself, produced numerous statistical calculations, evaluated the various outputs and drew final conclusions?
Annie Pettit, VP of Analytics at Ipsos Reid

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.