Eight Tips for Job Hunting During the Recession
Margot Carmichael Lester | Monster Contributing Writer
The global credit crisis and flat-lining domestic economy could make this one of the most challenging times to be looking for a job in recent history. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of unemployed increased to 11,000, and the December 2008 unemployment rate hit 7.2 percent – the highest level in sixteen years. In the financial services industry alone, hard-hit by the subprime crisis, more than 111,000 people have lost their jobs through the first nine months of 2008.
To be a successful job seeker in this climate, you have to be calm, patient and proactive — and try any (or all) of these tips.
Pick and Choose Your Targets
When Jack Hinson was laid off in mid-2008 from his job at a large Internet content company in Austin, he prioritized his search. “It’s important to put your time and energy into opportunities that you’re the most interested in and that have the best chance of coming to fruition,” he says. “Pick a few companies you’re interested in and pursue them, whether they have current openings or not.”
Concentrate on Growth Industries
Brent Berger, a Las Vegas-based scenario planning and strategy consultant, suggests focusing on growth industries and areas. “Look at energy,” he says. “With oil costs where they are, the need for cheap fuel and cheap heat is ever-mounting. And any job that alleviates pain is recession-proof. Similarly, the National Guard, Border Patrol, homeland security and the defense industry in general will continue to thrive as the next stage in the war on terror continues.”
Work Your Network
Hinson’s new gig came from an old connection. “I’d spoken to the company’s founders about a year ago and stayed in touch,” he says. “Then I ran into one of them at a networking function.” So flip through your Rolodex or business social media contacts and let them know you’re looking.
San Francisco PR account executive Samantha Rubenstein launched a job search just as the economy began to flag. After three months, she got a great offer from Atomic PR. She attributes her success to doing more than learning about the company. “Preparation [includes] learning how to talk about yourself in a meaningful and powerful way,” she says. “I created a list of potential interview questions and typed up bulleted answers to create speaking points.”