Obvious (but critical) job hunting tips

In this recession, managing your career presents some serious challenges. You’ll need a determined & focused attitude (with a lot of research thrown in for good measure). Look at the bigger picture, research your industry, and use search tools to help you better understand the marketplace… find what the most recession-proof jobs are in your field and target them! It’s a different type of market now. You may be brilliant, with an exceptional academic record and impeccable experience, but in this climate you’ll need to remember that there thousands of people out there that are equally good (you are not a special snowflake). You need to stand out! Start thinking from an employer’s perspective and what they’ll gain if they hire you. Be confident, not arrogant.

2 Speak to people in your field, network online & offline, and get yourself out there. If you know someone who works for a successful company, offer to help out for a week or two at no cost to the company. Use any means you can to get a foot-in-the-door & you’ll get some facetime with the added benefit of hands-on experience.  Contact companies directly: cold-call and let HR know about your skills & experience; inquire about short-term contracts or freelance opportunities. In this market, you may be exactly what they need, but the company may lack the budget for a permanent role.

3 Look for jobs online, through trade publications, in newspapers and on websites pertinent to your industry. Remember to keep organized and maintain a spreadsheet of all the jobs you’ve applied for, contact details, the date on wich you applied, etc.. Keeping track helps you to remember when to follow-up; it may take days or weeks for your application to get a response. A polite email or phone call never hurts.


Remember that your resume is a sales tool so make sure it’s up-to-date with sufficient detail on your previous work history – employers can’t guess what you’ve done or assume what your skillset may be. Write a concise cover letter; iterate and make it perfect, but remember that you must ALWAYS personalize your communication.


Above all else: stay positive. As Winston Churchill once said “Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference”.

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