How to Find a Job in a Recession

It’s clear for everyone to see, life is very uncertain at the moment, and it’s very normal to feel anxious and uncertain about the future and your finances. Recession may seem to be a scary time to be thinking about a job search, but the reality is many of us will be out of work soon, if not already, and each one of us has to pick ourselves on and battle through. So, what does a recession mean in general for job seekers? Can you still find a job during an economic downturn?

Yes, jobs will be lost, but we live in a vibrant country full of new starts and opportunities, which means jobs will always be created in new industries to fulfil the changing habits and needs of consumers and businesses.

It’s true there will be fewer vacancies in the short term, so, in order to give you the best chance of securing that new position, we’ve put together some of our top tips for finding a job during a recession, to help guide you on your quest to success!

1. Be Patient

You need to understand that it’s not going to happen overnight. As unemployment increases so do the number of applicants applying for positions. Generally, if you are looking for the right job for you which pays more money, it’s going to take you longer. Appreciate that this process could take several months and prepare your finances and yourself mentally for a marathon.

2. Less is More

Don’t fall into the trap of sending 100’s of the same CV to every Tom, Dick, and Harry – Recruiters can spot generic CV’s a mile off. Understand that employers want staff who want to work for them, not the staff who want to work just for anyone. Making the employer believe it’s not just about the money will help in the process.

3. Work on your CV

Each CV you send should be specific to the job you are applying for. But this doesn’t mean a total rewrite each time. Ensure that you have a well written generic CV template with no spelling or grammatical errors – And then each time you send it you may want to change a few words or sections to make you appear more suited to that role. Many recruitment companies offer free or paid CV writing services, so I would suggest you get on Google and find someone local who can help. Your CV and Cover note will be what gets you the interview, so, it’s essential you get it right. Once you feel happy with it, try to ask any friends or family members who you trust to read through it and offer critiques and improvement suggestions.

4. Reconnect with former colleagues, connections and friends

More so than during normal times, searching for a job during a recession will require you to reflect on your current and past network to find out where people are working now, and if there are opportunities available. Reach out to see if these businesses are hiring, and connect with old colleagues to see if they know of any upcoming positions, or discover how they transitioned into a new industry. Not every contact is going to have a job for you, but if you can constructively (and genuinely) reconnect, it will have long-term benefits which may result in future opportunities.

I would also suggest you ask friends, family, neighbour’s, and professional networks how they found their last job, what strategies and tactics worked well for them, and what advice they’d have for you.

5. Prepare, prepare, prepare for interviews

So, you have managed to get an interview with a company you really want to work for. Your best bet in securing this job would be to prepare, prepare, and prepare!

To do this you need to get as much information on the business and job role you are applying for. I would go on the company’s website and try to get a good feel for what they do and their companies’ ethos and culture.

Next, I would Google search your job role, you are looking for the desired skills, or attributes it takes to fill this position well. The point here is not to lie or pretend to be someone you are not, but you are starting to think about how you can tailor your responses to best fit the role and what the employer is looking for.

I would then write down 10-20 questions the employer may ask you in an interview and plan your responses. Take time to learn certain phrases or lines which sell you, that you really want to get across. Then get a family member or friend to role-play with you. Delivering your responses to any form of questions in an interview is just as important as what you are saying. You want to be calm yet confident, but not too overbearing. Getting across a desire and ambition to perform and do well for a business will go a long way.

When it comes to finding a job, do not be scared of failure – Expect to knock back a few times, but appreciate that each time you go into an interview your performance should improve. It may not be easy, but these small tips will go a long way in improving your chance of securing that job.

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