Finding a Job in a Recession

Today, I am going to tackle the issue of finding a job in a recession. Before we begin exploring options, there are few things you need to believe in.

You are good;
Companies are always looking for good people; and
Companies are hiring.

Yes. If you believe in the above three things, your chances of landing a job will be higher than nonbelievers. Let us discuss why:

You are good:I refuse to believe that there is even one person on earth who is good for nothing. It is just not possible. It is possible that you were a right person in a wrong job – but that does not make you useless. For a situation like this, the person who put you in that role should be questioned first. Everybody is good at something. The trick is to find out what you are good at, look for industries where your talent can be gainfully used, articulating your talent in a manner that will get attention and finally making the presentation.
Companies are always looking for good people:One of the fundamental accounting principle is “going concern”. What does “Going Concern” Principal says – “This accounting principle assumes that a company will continue to exist long enough to carry out its objectives and commitments and will not liquidate in the foreseeable future”. Good companies, that are build on solid financial principle by prudent managers, are always looking for good people because they understand people are their biggest asset. If the company is going to stay in business in foreseeable future, it needs to grow and growth means need for more people.
Companies are hiring:Yes, it is true. Companies are hiring. Big boys are in a bit of a pickle but there are enough opportunities available in middle and small sized companies. Under booming economy, small and medium side companies face one very big problem – they are unable to afford good talent. It is only during recessions that they are able to hire good people at affordable levels. This is the reason, why nimble footed smaller companies, which are not hindered or burdened by bureaucracies of big companies and government grants, are picking up right talent.

OK, let us now focus on some practical steps for landing a job.

Step 1: Take a hard look at your resume and answer just one question – Does it sell me well? A resume primary purpose is to sell your skills and if it does not cut the ice in first 8 – 10 seconds you can forget about an interview call. Competition is strong and no one has time to go through the whole resume. Too many candidates, too little time.

Advice 1: If your resume begins with an objective section, replace it with a solid 3 – 4 line summary covering your career, achievements and personality. This is your selling pitch, so begin with it. Make it easier for the recruiter.

Step 2: Am I on the web? Ask yourself this question. With more and more companies going in for cost cutting, direct recruitment is becoming the norm. Private recruitment agencies are getting fewer mandates now than a few months ago. It is not that they are not getting mandates, but it is mainly for specialized talent acquisition.

Advice 2: Register your resume with as many online recruitment/ job portals as possible but do not spend money using resume-blaster services. Reason is simple. Resume blaster services are mainly mass email based and end up in junk mail box. Professional recruiters use advanced data-mining techniques (freely available on most recruitment portals) to search for candidates matching their requirements.

Step 3: Step out of the box. Be ready to travel and look far & wide. If jobs are not available in your usual area of employment, move out. Not all parts of the worlds are equally affected by recession. South East Asia and Middle East are already better and these parts of the world always need good talent.

Advice 3: Move out of your nation and look for jobs globally. Become a world denizen rather than a citizen. A word of caution – be ready for culture change, even culture shock. Though world is unipolar, regional differences remain strong and well entrenched. Not everybody is comfortable working in an foreign environment/ culture. Think carefully before you decide to move out.

Step 4: Get connected and register in professional referencing websites. Getting connected is not as difficult as you might think. There are plenty of social website that can help you getting connected and referenced from a professional point of view. Recruiters often use such sites to check upon candidates profiles and references.

Advice 4: Get connected and collect positive references about your skills, attitudes and career.

Step 5 Be pragmatic. Costs have come down and hence be flexible about your remuneration. Most nations offer companies mechanism to split the remunerations into various heads like basic salary, housing rent allowance, transportation etc. This helps companies to manage costs. If your nation has something similar, use this to your benefit. Be firm on your basic salary but negotiate on elements like housing allowance and transportation because companies generally link these bits to the cost-of-living index and possibilities are there that these components of salary will increase as an when cost-of-living index increases. Using this technique will make you look reasonable and level headed in front of recruiter.

Advice 5 Be flexible and negotiate smartly.

Last but not the least, do not abandon the traditional job search methods.