5 Ways To Job Hunt During A Recession

Let’s face it. Nobody likes to job hunt. It’s time-consuming, filled with rejection, and quite frankly, sucks. These feelings are exacerbated by the fact that chances are you aren’t going down a LinkedIn rabbit hole because you want to. Maybe you were laid off or furloughed or realized six months into the job that your boss was a little too Devil Wears Prada (or worse, Office Space).

Even worse there’s an economic downturn, which is why so many people have lost work recently and job prospects are scarce. It seems inevitable that we’re headed towards a deep recession, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t jobs out there to be had. Here are 3 ways to job hunt now:

Look For Growth Industries

Not every industry is tanking. Netflix has seen a recent surge in subscriptions, and even old-school puzzles are having a moment. Do some research into the industries that are on an upward trajectory and are likely to stay that way post-pandemic. Right now, that’s probably going to be the tech sector. The pandemic has forced many of us to embrace new (and old) technologies, such as Zoom and Amazon. Is social distancing going to mean manufacturing workers will be replaced by robots sooner? That might be a good reason to look into AI. We’re living online a lot these days and tech companies will need workers. As with any recession, there are pockets of growth to be found. And if anyone can find them, it’s you.

Finding Companies That ARE Hiring

Yes, duh, there are companies not hiring/on a hiring freeze. But there ARE companies hiring like Rosetta Stone, Amazon, CVS, Walgreens, FedEx, UPS, food delivery services, grocery stores, Walmart, and GoJo, the company that makes Purell (!). Candor.co created a database where users can also contribute information that allows you to see companies who are on a hiring freeze and those that are not, in real-time.

Refresh Your Resume

If you’ve been out of college for several years—or decades—chances are you haven’t looked at your resume in a while. While it’s always good job-hunting advice to put on a nice outfit, get out of your apartment, and attend even the most uncomfortable networking happy hour, that isn’t exactly feasible right now. So, it’s time to dust off the old resume. A resume is a powerful tool and always important to have updated and on hand. Make sure that it’s clean and typo-free, that it tells the employer about you as a person, and customize it for each job to which you apply. Don’t be afraid to get a little personal so long as you stay professional and speak to why your story and skillset make you the ideal candidate for the position. For instance, include volunteer work. In a recession, when millions of people are applying for jobs, you want to stand out.

Be Small But Mighty

It might be a few months before you’re able to land your dream job again—or even something full time. The job hunt can be a long and painful road. In the meantime, consider taking on a few smaller gigs to help you get back on your feet. Again, look for areas that are in demand (and avoid those that aren’t–it’s probably not going to be beneficial to sign up to be an Uber driver, for example). The goal is to help you take control of your life and finances in the short term. The job search can feel chaotic and tenuous, so while you send out resumes and fill out forms, look for temp work. Hey–it might turn into something full time down the line.

Talk to Your Tribe

I know it can feel awkward right now when people are suffering, but talk honestly and authentically about your ambitions and skills to your network. Your close community is usually the best recommender of roles and resources for help.

Remember that the recession will not last forever. Both the economy and you will bounce back. It’s important, however, to make sure that you’re staying proactive during an uncertain time. This is for your own sanity and well-being, but also for your career success. Job hunting during a recession will be competitive. That isn’t necessarily bad—it just means you need to remain positive and open to new opportunities.

A version of this article was originally published on Forbes.


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