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Job search strategies and actions to take even during a recession 

Change is inevitable and has always had an impact on the world of work and no more so than today. We have certainly seen and experienced some big changes in the world of work over the last couple of decades.  We’ve even experienced a few health crisis too (Bird Flu, Swine Flu, Ebola) and we’ve experienced a couple of recessions (Credit crunch and Global Crisis).  In the UK this year we were preparing for the impact of Brexit but no one saw (literally, it’s an invisable enemy) Coronavirus sweeping in and knocking us all off guard. As significant as this situation is, it’s not a time to stop your job search.  

It was the best of times.  It was the worst of times.  Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities

There’s no sugar coating the impact of the Coronavirus on your job search and how it will affect our economy. You don’t need to be an economist to work out the negative impact of stores closing, pubs closing, restaurants closing, coffee shops closing, cinema’s and theatres closing, and the list goes on. We are experiencing the biggest health emergency and, as a consequence, we’ll also see the biggest economic downturn since the great depression. We’ve seen a lot of recruitment go on hold, be frozen or it will significantly slow down.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” – Charles Darwin 

In the last recession, we lost Blockbusters, Woolworths and Kodak to name a few. It was easy to understand why these businesses didn’t survive. All of these company’s had one resounding reason for their demise and that’s their business models. They all had outdated business models and had not kept up with what their customers wanted. Whereas, the likes of Amazon, Netflix and Apple were seeking out the next big thing.  Who knows what the true impact this pandemic will have on the economy short-term or long-term however, now is not the time to stop your job search.

Of course, there have been massive recruitment campaigns in driving, logistics, and distribution, picking and packing, farm labour and IT!  We need our key workers to maintain our infrastructure (Medical equipment and medicines, food supplies and distribution, transport systems, utilities, water etc.  Taking one of these jobs during this extremely challenging time is something to be proud of doing.  

There are still things you can do in a recession because you want to be ready to hit the ground running when (and it will) pick up.   

Are you facing redundancy?  Join our Facebook Group:  CV and Interview Support. 

1. Network, network, network

Building relationships is critical to landing a job in the future. It takes quality time and effort to build lasting relationships. Therefore, it’s never too soon to start engaging with future employers and connecting with recruiters. It’s reported that as much as 70% of jobs are hidden. Networking is the biggest method of tapping into this hidden jobs market.  You need to network continuously and yes, even more during a recession.  

2. Work on your CV

Work on getting your CV in really good shape. When the market picks up again and it will, the competition for the good jobs will be higher than ever. If you are currently employed, spend this time making sure you have a CV ready to go. You will still need to spend time tailoring your CV to each vacancy however you can only tailor effectively when you have a good master template CV.

3. Update your LinkedIn profile

Normally you’d need to be discrete about updating your LinkedIn if you have a job. I’d be more focused on protecting your future than worrying if your current boss see an update on your profile. This is the biggest crisis we’ve experienced and maybe there won’t be another one in our lifetimes. However, no one knows what will happen in the future so it’s really important to keep our LinkedIn profile up to date.  It’s also a great platform to networking in these times of lockdown. 

4. Prepare specific examples

It’s always worth spending your time collating some really good specific examples. In a recession, employers can be a little picky and selective and raise the standard of the candidates they consider.  Prepare some really good examples that cover a few behavioural competencies. This will give you a lot more flexibility during the interview and therefore, reduce your anxiety trying to think of examples under pressure. 

5. Job search (Regularly look at the job boards)

If you are thinking, why bother, then think again. It’s not the time to get complacent or you are likely to miss out on opportunities. Recruiters generally advertise for at least a couple of weeks, may be even a month for some vacancies.  However, they are unlikely to advertise for very long given the sheer volume of applicants. 

The wise thing to do during a recession is exploit all the different routes to market – hidden and visual job searching methods.  You want to maximise your chances and speed up the time it takes to land a job. 

It’s also important to invest in your personal development.  Take the time to learn a new skill or strengthen an existing skill.  There are plenty of online courses at reasonable prices.  Take time to review your Continuous Development Plan as this will be useful to take into an interview.

We will get through this pandemic and the economy will repair itself over time.  So, if you do have some time now to prepare, use it wisely.  Keep safe, keep positive, keep strong and stay at home.  Thank you. 

About Dawn Moss

Dawn has worked in a corporate environment for over ten years providing Recruitment & Selection Services, and has been involved in Coaching & Educating Business Leaders, Managers and Employees in all aspects of the recruitment process.

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