Job Hunting in a Recession
Job hunting in a recession is challenging, but it is not necessarily an impossible task. Although many employers are making employees redundant or reducing hours and salaries, some employers will still look to take on new staff during a recession. With more job hunters going head-to-head for fewer job openings, your job applications need to single you out as being more impressive than your competitors.
Don't Rely On The Internet
While Internet job boards and listings are a useful way to keep abreast of the vacancies that need filling, this is not the only way to find jobs. Vacancies that are advertised on the Internet will generally get lots of applicants, which means that your job applications need to be even more impressive to beat the competition. This is not to say that using the Internet to find jobs is not recommended, but it should not be your only port of call. Advertisements in newspapers, job fairs and word-of-mouth can be just as effective and there will often be far less in the way of competition.
Make Your Job Applications Sparkle
As you might expect, you will be up against more job candidates than usual during a recession. This means that it is important to spend time polishing your job applications so that they stand out from the crowd. As many candidates are sending job applications to multiple companies, they will often send "boilerplate" templates that will do little to impress prospective employers. Taking the opportunity to make your job applications more personal demonstrates that you have a good understanding of how your skills and experience can benefit the company in question. A "boilerplate" covering letter is a strong indication that you are simply looking for a job of any description with no real commitment to the company. While this may not necessarily be the case, first impressions are vital.
Do not expect your skills and experience to speak for themselves as there will be plenty of other applicants with the right qualifications for the job. Instead, you need to go a step further than this to impress. One of the best ways to do this involves tailoring your cover letters to the job description and objectives. Ideally, you should demonstrate how your skills and experience make you the best candidate for the job. As many of your competitors will not take the time to do this, it can create a much more favorable impression.
If your resume and covering letter did the trick, you should be invited to attend the interview stage of the application process. This is another chance to demonstrate your suitability for the job. Spend some time before your interview familiarizing yourself with the company so that you are well prepared for the questions that may come up. Use the interview questions as an opportunity to show how you can benefit the company.