Job Search Tips for Tough Economic Times
It’s a tough time for many Albertans right now. It is no secret; many of us depend on the production and prices of oil for our livelihood, either directly or indirectly. Oil hit a six year low recently, business has slowed, layoffs seem to be constantly in the news, and people are looking for jobs.
Searching for a job at the best of times is stressful. It is completely normal to experience a range of thoughts and emotions. However, please remember when you walk out the door with your suit on and resumes in your hand, despite these tough times, the same rules apply for seeking employment. Calgary’s current economic state suggests now more than ever you will want to act professionally and appropriately. Now is the time to put your best self forward! With that in mind, here is a short list of dos and don’ts to help you through this tough time:
If you are an engineer, do not apply to be a pilot
Job boards are a great resource. They allow us the ability to apply for many jobs in a short period of time. However, it is still important to be strategic. If the job is not relevant to your skills and experience, many times, applying can harm you more than help you. Taking the approach of mass resume submissions to all jobs wastes your time and the time of the person receiving it. It shows the recruiter or hiring manager that you are not taking the time to actually read the job posting, and they will be less likely to take you seriously when you apply for a job that you are actually qualified to do.
Don’t let them see you sweat
Not having a job can be stressful in many ways. However, the reason you give for wanting a position should not be that the rent is due at the end of the month. Although we can all relate to stressful times, a recruiter’s job is to find the most qualified person. Thus your reasons for getting the job should align with your qualifications, not your financial situation. Keep your personal circumstances out of your professional conversations. Now is the time to highlight your skills and experience, and to be professional and confident. Prove that you don’t just need the job but that you truly deserve it!
Follow up once or twice
Following up after a resume submittal or interview is professional, shows interest and keeps you in the mind of the recruiter. However, continuously calling for updates can have the opposite effect. You will be in the mind of the recruiter; however, there will be a negative connotation associated with your name. Persistently calling may give the impression that you lack in professional and social etiquette. These are not desirable qualities in a potential employee. In terms of follow ups, calls should have a purpose. For example, confirming a resume submittal, an interview thank you or to notify a change in employment status is completely acceptable. Keep calls to “check in” at a minimum. If you are concerned you are calling too much, you likely are.
Tailor that resume
When jobs are few, competition can be high. Now is the time to really highlight your skills and tailor your resume to the position you want. Chances are there are many qualified applicants on the market, and for success, it is imperative to show all your skills and qualifications. However, be smart about your resume. If it is not easy to read, recruiters and potential employers will not read it. Take the time to analyze the job posting that interests you. Think about what they are looking for and what you have to offer. There are many great resources to help you with your resume. If you are in doubt, use them!
It is going to be OK
We have been through these tough times before. This is not a time for gloom and doom. This is a time to re-evaluate, work hard and make smart choices. If you are currently not employed, take a moment to figure out what you want and what is realistic. Take advantage of opportunities, such as volunteering, that allow you to stay busy, gain new skills and expand your network. Remember, since the last downturn of 2009, Albertans have not only survived but prospered and, we will continue to do so. Stay focused; believe in yourself and your ability. There is a job out there for you.