Job-hunting during a recession or challenging economic cycle can be a daunting task. However, with the right approach, you can increase your chances of landing a role that suits you. We’ve put together five practical tips to help you navigate the job market during a recession and find employment.
1. Polish Your Resume and Cover Letter
First impressions matter, so make sure to put your best foot forward when job hunting. Your resume and cover letter are your first impression on potential employers, so make sure they are well-tailored and set up to stand out. Customize your resume to highlight relevant skills and experiences that match the job requirements.
Keep it concise, organized, and error-free. Craft a compelling cover letter that showcases your enthusiasm for the position and explains how your skills align with the company’s needs. Both resumes and cover letters are the first version of you that potential employers will see, so make sure they are well-crafted.
2. Leverage Your Hobbies and Skills
Everyone wants to get paid to do what they love, and it doesn’t have to be a pipe dream if you get a little creative. Consider how your hobbies and skills can be turned into income-generating work.
If you’re a skilled photographer, try selling prints of your photos on Etsy or offer your services for events or product photography. Are you a talented writer? Seek out freelance writing or content creation opportunities. Monetizing your hobbies and skills can create additional income streams while allowing you to get paid for doing something you enjoy.
3. Volunteer Strategically
Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, but it might also present new career options. If you’re looking for ways to contribute through volunteer work, think about areas that may also align with your interests. Most volunteer roles involve working with others. As such, they can provide rich networking opportunities.
Immerse yourself in volunteer work you find enjoyable – and that aligns with your skill set. Not only will you be offering invaluable help to communities and causes that need it, but you’ll have a chance to showcase your skills and work ethic to potential employers.
4. Tap into the Hidden Job Market
Most people are familiar with the common places to find job listings. Indeed, ZipRecruiter, and CareerBuilder are all excellent sites for perusing available jobs, but don’t forget about the hidden job market. The hidden job market includes available jobs that may not be publicly advertised. Most of these use word-of-mouth referrals or internal promotions to recruit for and fill positions.
Be sure your friends, family, and professional acquaintances know you are actively looking for jobs. Networking is key to uncovering hidden opportunities, so the more events you can attend, the better. Look to community events and volunteer work to expand your network and keep an ear to the ground on new positions that might not be widely advertised.
5. Embrace Gig Work and Freelancing
In a tough economy, traditional employment may be harder to find. That doesn’t mean there aren’t viable alternatives. Gig work and freelancing can be great ways to earn an income and may even turn into lucrative, long-term roles.
Discover short-term projects on platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, or TaskRabbit. Consider offering your services directly to individuals or small businesses with your own website as well. Not only can freelancing provide income, but it can help you build your portfolio and connect with potential employers by expanding your network.
Job-hunting during a recession requires resilience, adaptability, and a proactive mindset. With a positive perspective and the tips listed above, you can effectively identify and land a new position that could surpass your expectations.