The Recession Job Hunt
February 11, 2016
Looking for a new job is such a fun experience… said no one ever.
While the possibility of a new job opportunity can be exciting, if you are a full time job seeker this process is also filled with the stress of now knowing when you will see a pay cheque next. This sentiment is only exacerbated during an economic downturn, such as we are currently seeing in Alberta, because of the influx of qualified candidates and a reduction in open roles.
A recent article from Calgary Alternative Employment Services, entitled “Job Search Strategies: Hunting in the Recession”, is a frank overview of how people currently looking for work should approach their search. It explains that regardless of if “you’ve been on the job search for the last few months or you’re just starting” and if “you were a 20 year employee or a new grad trying to find your way” there are certain aspects that should be in the plans for your job search.
Agreeing with their points but not sure how to get going with it? Here are the overarching pieces to a great job search in the current market:
Before starting the bulk of the job search, it is EXTREMELY important to stop in order to look back at your career to see what has and hasn’t worked for you in the past. Here are questions to ask yourself:
Why did you leave your last role or why were you let go?
Did you enjoy your past roles? The company cultures? Your bosses work style? The responsibilities and projects that came across your desk? The work structure?
What would you change about past jobs? What things would you like in your next job?
These questions will help you to take the first steps in your job search… determining what you are looking for!
Next, it is important to look at yourself to see if you are a fit for the roles you are wanting, and to see if you can be competitive with other job seekers. This involves making sure that you are capable of being considered for the jobs that you apply to rather than simply sending out hundreds of resumes with no response. Here are the items that need to be considered:
Am I still suited for this industry? Should I complete a Career Assessment to check in on my current strengths?
What are the common qualifications for the roles that I want? Do I have at least 75% of these or should I look at a different role?
Do I need to upgrade my skills? Is there a course or program that I can take to put me ahead of the other applicants?
Can I volunteer to gain more experience in an area of interest? Does their culture support volunteering your time?
Taking the time to assess your fit for the roles you are targeting will help reduce the number of resumes sent off to jobs that you will never be considered for. Let’s be honest with yourself, don’t you want to cut down on wasted time in your job search?
Every single successful person in the history of job searches has gotten help in some way: proof reading a resume, utilizing their network, asking for a reference, talking to a career coach, or any of the other hundreds of way that someone can help when looking for work. To use someone’s help is not cheating or a cop-out but is simple common sense. Period.
While you can go to a paid resource, there are also free career resources available in most cities if you take the time to look for them, including the Public Libraries in Calgary and Edmonton. Another great, and free, resource is to reach out to Staffing Agencies within your city, or specialty, that can help look for roles that fit your skill set – How can you say no to additional people rooting for you to find work?
We hear you….. “But I started out with a review! Why do I need to do this again?”… and you are correct!
One of the most important things to remember in a job search is that you need to take a step back to look at it every few weeks to ensure that you are still on target. This helps to ensure that you are treating the process as what it is… a job! If you haven’t found work yet, you need to review your efforts and see if you can streamline, alter, or improve upon anything that you are doing.
Now that you have an understanding of how to structure your job search, let’s put it into practice by applying to jobs on our careers page! As a reminder, this process is great for anyone who is looking, regardless of your background or how long you have been on the hunt!
Best of luck!