January 2009 Career Tips | Job Search Strategies in a Down Economy

Job Search Strategies in a Down Economy

Let's face it. Finding a job in today's economy takes work, focus and persistence. Consider the following tips whether you're searching for employment or simply thinking about a career change.

  1. Assess your marketability.
    Know how you add value to a potential employer. Sell yourself rather than just telling your story.
  2. Update your skills.
    Check the Internet to see what skills are in demand. Seek out ways to fill the gap between what employers need and you can deliver. You can take classes online or at a community college, pick up a book or shadow a seasoned professional.
  3. Search Intentionally.
    Target companies that can use your skills and experience. Utilize your existing network to get your foot in the door.
  4. Consider Plan B.
    In our current financial environment, your dream job might not be currently available. Look for opportunities outside of your current industry; you may just fall in love with something new.
  5. Tap into your unexpected wisdom.
    Take note of those things that you know more about than the average person. Are you a CPA who plays around with HTML code on the side? Or a salesperson who used to be a candy striper? Think outside the box.
  6. Create a power-packed resume and cover letter.
    Now is not the time to be wimpy and passive. Use these tools to tell the world about your amazing credentials. Include action words and quantitative examples.
  7. Network, network and network some more.
    Everyone has a network – consider your family, friends, neighbors, co-workers, church groups, professional groups and sports groups. Networking truly is the best way to find a job.
  8. Join a job seekers support group.
    There are others out there going through the same challenges. Look for listings of local groups on Google or in the community activities section of your newspaper.
  9. Join a social network like LinkedIn or Facebook.
    You'll be surprised by how viral these resources are. But be thoughtful about the information you put out there – the world is watching.
  10. Be realistic.
    It takes time to find the right job. If you need something immediately, contact an agency that hires for temporary-to-permanent positions.

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