How to secure a job in a recession
Even though there is a recession, you don’t have to panic and take any job you can find.
A recession is when the economy slows down, which hurts income and jobs. It’s not the best time to be looking for a job, and it doesn’t take much to see why. Still, just because there is a recession doesn’t mean you should panic and take any job you can find.
Just take a deep breath and do this instead.
DON’T APPLY IN GROUPS
Most people have only one reaction when they hear “there’s a recession” and “I need a job”: they panic and apply for as many jobs as they can. But in reality, you’re not likely to get what you want from this. About 250 people apply for the average corporate job ad.
If you want a better chance than 0.4% of getting the job, you should give more thought to the job ads you look at. Choose the openings that are best for you, even if that means sending in only one application per day instead of 10.
Below, you’ll find a lot of tips that will help you stand out and go after the right opportunities.
GO ABOVE AND BEYOND OTHER CANDIDATES
Most of the other people looking for work are probably spending a lot of time applying for as many jobs as they can. Since you’re going to take our advice and fill out fewer applications, you already have more time to do other things.
Work on your LinkedIn profile to get recruiters to come to you instead of sending out a lot of applications.
Make sure you’re focusing on the right keywords to get as many people to see your profile as possible. Think about the words and phrases that a recruiter is likely to look for. For example, a software engineer’s profile summary should list all the programming languages and frameworks they know how to use. They should also choose a good headline, like “Senior backend engineer looking for work.”
And make sure your profile says “open for work” so that employers know you are looking for a job.
You could also use your time to improve your resume or make a portfolio that shows off your skills.
You shouldn’t have to take a job you don’t want, but you also have to be realistic. Some industries and companies do better than others during a recession. So, instead of limiting yourself to the kinds of opportunities you’d want to take on in an ideal world, think about what’s the most practical.
Which businesses in your field are doing well? Follow the news to see which companies are laying off a lot of people or seeing their stock prices drop, and which are making some progress. At the very least, don’t waste your time on companies that aren’t actively hiring unless you have a good reason to think they’d still hire you.
In some cases, you might even think about going into a different business. When the economy is bad, things like accounting and food tend to do better than things like electronics or travel.
USE WHO YOU KNOW (OR BUILD A NEW ONE)
People are afraid of looking weak when they ask for help, but your network is usually one of the best ways to get a job. Tell your friends, family, and other people you know that you are looking for a job. Why not share something on social media?
People are more likely to feel like they are in it together during a recession, so they may be more willing to help. But don’t act like you’re desperate or a victim; instead, get right to the point.
THINK ABOUT SOMETHING SHORT-TERM
The average job search takes about five months, and during a recession, it could take even longer. If you’re worried about going that long without your usual income, you might take a job you don’t really want just to put money in your bank account.
There is a better way: look for short-term or freelance work. It will not only give you an extra way to make money, but it will also look good on your resume and fill in that awkward gap between jobs. During your job search, you’re likely to see ads for temporary or contract jobs. Why not apply for a few and see where it takes you?
You could also reach out to people in your LinkedIn network or talk to an agency.
DO NOT DISREGARD YOUR HEALTH
When we talk about something as important as feeding your family or paying your mortgage, you might roll your eyes and say that your health isn’t that important.
But ignoring your body and mind could hurt your chances of success, so don’t put them on the back burner. Make time every day to do things you enjoy and to work out. You don’t have to look for a job every minute you’re awake.
WHEN THE GOING GETS TOUGH
Everyone agrees that it can be hard to find a job, especially when the economy is bad. But there’s no reason you won’t get where you want to be on time if you’re patient, smart, and willing to make concessions.
Try to pay attention to the things you can change and give yourself some time. You can do it!