Tough Job Market? Get Tough


Recent economic downturns have claimed many corporate jobs, and it won’t get better anytime soon.

Whether you’re out of a job or hunting for a new one while still employed, you’ll have to step up your game to compete successfully. The current job market is incredibly competitive with plenty of well-qualified people who are out of work and looking.

No need to despair. By fine-tuning your job search skills, developing a few proactive habits, and looking at the bigger picture, you can prevail and land that job you’ve been dreaming about.

1. Get face time.

Now is not the time to network via email.

If you personally know people who can help you, consider meeting up for a lunch or breakfast meeting or even office visits scheduled in advance. Those in a position to give you a recommendation, hire you, or introduce you to someone who can help should see you in person so that your cause is in their viewfinder.

2. Step it up.

Now is not the time to be complacent.

If you applied for 10 jobs per week in a good economy, double it in a bad one. Schedule time every day to send out letters, emails, and general correspondence to prospective employers.

Finding a job often boils down to a numbers game, and the more jobs you apply for, the more likely you are to find one.

3. Flexibility is key.

Consider taking a job that’s lower in pay or less than your ideal position simply to get your foot in the door.

It’s better to be a rising star in a position you can quickly master than to be mediocre performer in a job you can barely handle. If you have to start lower on the totem pole, consider it temporary and a showcase for your abilities.

4. Consider moving.

The town or city you call home might be comfortable and familiar, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures.

Even if the thought of moving seems completely out of the question, consider it. Broaden your job search to include companies that are further out of the way. Explore possibilities—remember that job markets are sometimes regional and it might be busier elsewhere.

5. Job boards are not where it’s at.

Even in a booming economy, less than 20% of available jobs are ever advertised. In a tough economy, even fewer are posted simply because no one wants to be flooded with applications.

Job boards are places where everyone is competing for the same job, so keep that in mind. The bulk of your day should not be spent trolling job boards.

No matter how bleak things look, don’t give in to despair or give up. Persistence is key, and now is the time to cultivate a stubborn streak. Take the time to ensure that your résumé or CV is current and polished, and keep hitting the job search aggressively on a daily basis.

Finding a job is a job—treat it that way. You will eventually meet with success.

How did you land your dream job?

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