The Looming Recession Is Discouraging Job Seekers — These 5 Job Hunting Tips May Help

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Laura Berlinsky-Schine2.3k
May 20, 2024 at 10:40PM UTC

An economic downturn is one of the most challenging times to go job hunting. With a possible recession looming, job-seekers are naturally concerned. 

Now, a recession isn’t the end of the world. It’s also possible that the worst-case scenario won’t come to pass. But either way, it’s important to be prepared. These strategies will serve you well at any point — whether or not a significant economic downturn is on the horizon.

1. Keep your LinkedIn up to date.

Your LinkedIn is an important tool for networking, making yourself visible and even applying for jobs. Make sure your profile is always kept fresh and up to date. Any experience, qualifications, certifications and skills should be front and center, and you should take the time to craft a strong summary and headline.

LinkedIn also allows you to advertise that you’re open to new opportunities. This #OpentoWork feature makes it clear to recruiters that you’re eager to find a new position.

2. Target specific organizations.

When you’re applying to job after job on job boards, it can start to feel like you’re sending your resume into a black hole. This is even more frustrating during a difficult market, when positions may be closed because of hiring freezes or other internal issues, and candidates never even know if they were applying for a real position at all.

While you shouldn’t stop applying, it’s important to hone your strategy to target organizations where you’d really like to work. Sending cold emails to these organizations will help you stand out. Even if there isn’t an open position to apply to, you’re putting yourself on their radar and offering them a solution they didn’t even know they needed.

You will have to do some research, such as finding the contact information for a specific individual, but the extra effort can really pay off.

3. Consider freelancing.

Freelancing is a good way to keep yourself busy and continue to bring in income, even if you don’t have one full-time position. Plus, it will prevent you from having gaps to explain in your resume. It will also help you continue to gain experience.

Today, many individuals freelance full-time, enjoying the flexibility and variability this route offers. I was a full-time freelance writer and editor for years, and I recently started a full-time job with one of my former clients!

4. Always be networking.

Look for opportunities to connect with others in your industry or desired industry. Joining professional associations is a great way to network with others in your field — some of whom may have opportunities for you in mind or know others who do. 

The key to networking is making yourself as visible as possible. Tell everyone, whether or not you think they’ll be able to help. That goes for friends, friends of friends, former colleagues, neighbors, family, friends of family members and so on. Reach out to people you admire on LinkedIn. Cast as wide a net as possible — you never know who might come through for you.

5. Boost your skills.

While you’re on the job hunt, take the time to boost your skills — and thereby boost your hiring potential. The idea is to make yourself more marketable, especially in a difficult market. Take classes or gain a certification. Look into what will help you get a leg up in your industry, whether that’s a coding boot camp or a bookkeeping course.

Yes, recessions are tough times to find new work. But armed with a solid strategy and a willingness to put in more effort than you might need to otherwise, you can persist and find the right role — or roles — for you.

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This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Laura Berlinsky-Schine is an editor and writer based in Brooklyn with her demigod/lab-mix Hercules. She primarily focuses on education, technology and career development. She has worked with Penguin Random House, Fairygodboss, CollegeVine, BairesDev and many other publications and organizations. Her humor writing has appeared in the Belladonna, Weekly Humorist, Slackjaw, Little Old Lady Comedy, and Points in Case. She also writes fiction and essays, which have appeared in publications including The Memoirist and The Avalon Literary Review. View her work and get in touch at: www.lauraberlinskyschine.com.

What's your no. 1 piece of advice for job seekers during the looming recession? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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