If you are currently searching for a new position, you are in a tricky situation. Even if you did not take a career break on your own accord, its no secret you are facing a tough road ahead. The good news is that you can take advice from the 2008 recession and learn how those who were affected at that time were able to find new jobs, and even prosper. Read on for some tips and tricks that could help you find your next position now!
Of course, being unemployed is an incredibly frustrating situation, even at the best of times. However, it is important to remember not to spam resumes out to every job posting, even those which you are over or underqualified for. During economic downturns, and really at any time, successful candidates figure out exactly what they are looking for and target only the jobs which match their skills and goals.
Even when you get desperate, it is important to remember not to bombard employers with applications for every open position. Today, applicant tracking programs can detect when someone applies for multiple jobs at the organization and will often reject them on that basis without looking at their resume and background further.
Once you determine your top skills and the goals you want to focus on, it is important to remain up to date on those topics and become an expert in the subject matter. Separate yourself from your competition by having an “always-learning” mindset. Get certified or re-certified if your certification lapsed, listen to podcasts and read books written by experts in your field. Take the time to make sure you are conversant in all of your target areas.
Don't Worry About Your Title
When looking to re-enter the workforce after a longer break, whether voluntary or forced, it is always best to focus on getting your foot in the door with an organization. Sometimes this means applying for and accepting a position that had a lower title and level than where you were before your career break. As an example, check out this article in the Harvard Business Review for some examples of people who left senior level jobs, returned to work in roles more junior than they had left and rose through the ranks once they got back on the job.
Use Your Network
Network, network, network. Networking enables you to take advantage of personal and business connections, rather than relying solely on your resume. These connections are not only beneficial for you but also for employers, who hire many new employees through networking. The old saying, “it’s not what you know, but who you know” is not far from the truth. Networking with friends, family and associates (including placement agencies and staffing firms) can help find the few and far between opportunities, and maybe give you a little “edge” over the competition for that position.
In addition, you should always be present and active on LinkedIn. Showing persistence in job hunting through posting and making new connections with companies you are targeting can boost the amount of people who see your posts, including those potential employers. You can also connect with like-minded relaunchers and are going about the process at the same time. Through social media, you can keep each other accountable and moving forward, support one another when you get discouraged, and become great helps with everything from checking typos on resumes and LinkedIn profiles to conducting mock interviews.
Prepare for the Interview
When going into an interview, those who know a lot about their prospective employer feel much more confident. You can distinguish yourself from other candidates by making references to specific news or information about the employer, underscoring your interest and enthusiasm in the employer’s mission, product, service, or industry.
You also want to make sure that this research is well used. Come up with a list of anecdotes about your previous work experience and why you feel you are professionally qualified for the role. Utilize the research to find out what kind of questions or experience would translate well at your target company. Make sure you practice answering these questions out loud! It is incredibly important to hear yourself saying these answers, and even record yourself. In these days of Zoom meetings, it is highly advisable to practice doing a video interview with friends and colleagues or even utilizing a video interview practice website.
Be Patient and Realistic
Of course, this is probably the most important tip. You must recognize that job searching during an economic downturn can take longer than at other times. Also, it may not be possible to get your dream job, at your dream company in this economic climate. Think realistically about the ways you can expand your search to include more potential roles and employers where you can add value. Remember, you only need one job! Even when companies are laying off and amid dire economic forecasts, you can still find numerous open roles at companies around the country. Make sure you are looking at recent postings, and don’t make any assumptions about who is hiring and who isn’t until you check for yourself.
Also, remember that not hearing anything for some time is NOT a referendum on your qualifications or worth. Recruiters and hiring managers are usually under pressure as well, getting urgent and sometimes conflicting directives from employers regarding hiring strategy and practices and the skillsets being targeted. Your recruiter will reach out to you as often as possible to update you on the status of a position!
The most important thing to remember is not to give up! There are plenty of jobs available, even in these uncertain economic times. On a positive note, we here at Visium have seen an uptick in job requests and hires in the past few months. And we expect this trend to continue the rest of the year. If you are searching for a position, please take a look at our open jobs, and if you don’t see anything there go ahead and send us your resume. We are getting new requirements all the time, and would love to be of assistance to you when finding your next position!