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Job Hunting in an Economic Crisis

Job Hunting in an Economic Crisis

The financial sky is falling and you need to get a job. What do you do? You’ve done all of the obvious exercises of posting your resume on job boards and have submitted your resume to dozens of jobs posted online. You’ve alerted your network to the fact you are on the market and are actively looking for a new job. Now what?

Don’t be so sure you’ve posted your resume everywhere it should be. There are recruiters and hiring managers who search every job board that exists. Some definitely get more traffic than others, but all of them get some traffic so it is worth your time to register and post your resume with as many as are applicable to your search to gain the most exposure. To briefly review, the big three job boards are Monster, HotJobs and CareerBuilder. But there are literally thousands of others across the country that cater to almost every niche possible be it by industry such as healthcare, construction and finance or by geographic location; by state, county, region and city. There are job boards specific to people who have a security clearance, people who are of specific ethnic origin, education levels, veteran status and certifications. Do a few searches based on these criteria to find the ones that suit your background and objectives.

Nearly every company you can think of has an employment/careers section on their web site. You can go to those pages yourself to apply directly to these companies. You can also submit your resume directly to recruiting firms by going to their web sites. Sometimes you’ll be able to submit your resume to a general inbox as opposed to submitting it for a specific job. You want your resume to be in their internal databases for when they conduct searches there. Find out about local job fairs by doing internet searches and reading the business section of your local newspaper. In fact, you can search for certain news information online using a variety of search engines and tools.

Have you joined some groups online to get and stay connected to what’s happening in your world? There are many social networking sites that offer various ways to connect with people. Get online, search for social networking sites, register and explore their unique universes. They mostly all have groups and what happens in these groups is people hear of news and then announce that news to the group. For instance, I belong to many groups relating to Human Resources and Recruiting where I learn something new every single day without exception relating to the industry in some way. I hear about seminars I can participate in, tools (software and otherwise) that I may want to use, best practices for every facet of my business, candidate and company information and even tidbits about how to stay motivated. We all have something to learn and we each also have something to share. It is guaranteed that you will learn, and what you learn may be the key to opening the door to your next job.

You have let your immediate circle know you’re looking. Have you specifically asked them to help you in your search? They don’t have to do much beyond remember you as they go about their day. With you and your search on their mind, they will absolutely find information to share with you that may help. But you have to ask them to do so and keep in touch with them to remind them you’re still looking. An email or quick phone call to say “Don’t forget to keep me in your thoughts because I need all the help I can get” are both great reminders. Have you found that your awareness grows once you have something to relate to? For instance, not realizing how many Volkswagens are on the road until you own one. Keep yourself in their minds and it will help your search.

What are you doing when you’re not making your eyes dry out from staring at the computer or the TV? Look into volunteering your time somewhere at least twice a week for a couple of hours. Do this in person in an environment conducive to meeting new people. Which people and why meet them? The other volunteers and/or organizers all have families and friends in their respective networks who may be of assistance. A soup kitchen, homeless shelter, animal shelter, your local community center, senior center, political organization, church, the library, etc. are all equally good venues. Give of yourself while you have the time. This activity will help you in multiple ways because it will take your mind off of yourself and your situation for at least a little while (we all need a break from our own reality sometimes), it will give you an opportunity to meet people and make them aware of your search and it will benefit your community which includes you.

When asked how they got their jobs, most people will respond with some form of networking story. It was their friend, their wife’s cousin or their best friend’s son who knew someone who was able to get them an interview or an application. There are quite a few who get their jobs through recruiters as well, but at the end of the day recruiters are simply people who get paid to know lots of people – it’s all networking. Get out there and get yourself as much exposure as possible. You literally never know where the successful lead will come from. Oh yes, and be sure to be friendly to your neighbors. You never know.