Less than 4 years ago, a job candidate with a decent resume and little or no experience could walk into virtually any interview knowing that an offer was inevitable.
Candidates would send out 10 resumes hoping to get 2 or 3 responses, but they would instead get 20 responses, many from head-hunters, whose business was booming like never before. Back then, it was almost impossible to find a company that *wasn’t* hiring.
From about 10 years ago to 3 years ago, the technology age was running rampant and tens of thousands of 20-somethings fresh out of college had option packages that made them millionaires on paper.
Those time are so close, yet so far away. Today the job market appears the very antithesis of those glory days. Seemingly endless layoffs, missed forecasts, a major NASDAQ correction and events abroad have led us to an uncomfortable phase of economic unrest.
Jobs, of course, are no longer easy to come by; and many of the unemployed have found themselves “on the bench” for weeks, then months and some even a year or more.
But the cyclical nature of the world economy is a known fact; and a downturn was not only expected but inevitable. Instead of stressing and worrying at such times, we should rise to the occasion and meet the new challenges. In this job race, the only survivors are those who fit themselves with a stellar resume and a die-hard attitude.
Following are some tips on accelerating your search for a new job:
- Get a Positive Attitude: While it may not be easy these days, it is an absolute must to remain positive and optimistic.
- Be Aware of Job Security: Don’t wait for your company to go out of business before you start looking for a new job. If you have any reason to believe your job is in jeopardy, update your resume and start testing the waters. When the time seems right, make the jump if it is to a better, more secure job.
- Search Online: Regardless of the industry you are in, you are missing out on major opportunities if you aren’t looking for a job online. Internet use allows you to send out more resumes far quicker than any other way.
- Be Proactive: If you would normally send out 5 resumes a day, start sending out 10 or even 20. Don’t be picky with the companies you choose — get in as many interviews as you can now, and be pick with the *offers* later. If a job listing has a both a contact phone number and email address, pick up the phone and call them — it is far too easy for an email to be filed away for later.
- Totally revamp your resume: While your old resume might have landed you a job in yesterday’s booming market, today competition is as tight as ever. Your resume is your first impression with an employer; it will get you interviews or cause you to lose them. Consider having your resume re-written by experienced editors — for example, The Killer Resume offers resume editing and writing by Harvard-educated professionals who have a great deal of experience with what works and what doesn’t in resumes.
- Polish Your Interviewing Skills: Once you begin interviewing, be sure prepare yourself for each meeting. Interviewers are impressed by confident individuals who show strong communication skills and eagerness for the position. When in doubt, always wear a suit and tie to the interview. Mention a willingness to work in groups but the ability to carry your own weight. Research the company’s website before the interview, and if you are able to slip in a few facts during the interview (e.g. “I’d particularly be interested in working with your Open Server product”) it will score you extra points. Remember — the more you interview, the better you will get at it. This is particularly true because most interviewers ask the exact same questions. Soon enough, the answers will flow out of your mouth before you even hear the whole question.
Anyone can get a job when the market is booming, but those who prevail in tough times like these show true character and spirit.