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Job Hunting in a Weak Job Market

How to Job Search When the Job Market Is Sluggish

It feels like almost every morning the news is spilling with stories about companies making substantial layoffs — Merrill Lynch, Yahoo, Macy's, and The New York Times to name a few. Of course just because these companies are trudging though tough times it doesn't mean your job is next, but there's no harm in being prepared. Fortune just released these tips on how to approach the job hunt during a weak market.

  1. Request more face-to-face meetings: Make an impression by meeting with your contacts and recruiters in person.
  2. Step up your job-search activity: Improve your odds by making up to 40 phone calls a week and sending out between 15 and 20 letters to prospective employers, recruiters, and others.
  3. Try to be as flexible as you can: Some employers may be hesitant to give you a full-time job because of the economic climate, so if they offer part-time or contract work don't automatically turn it down. It may be worth it to at least get your foot in the door.

There are four more on the list so please

  1. Consider relocating: But being open to the idea of moving improves your chances for success and will open up more opportunities.
  2. Scour the hidden job market: Un-tap unadvertised openings by networking, contacting potential employers directly and registering on companies' web sites to receive e-mail updates about new openings.
  3. Spend very little of your time on Internet job boards and help-wanted ads: You can keep a casual eye on them, but fewer job openings mean more people are chasing the same advertised positions.
  4. Take advantage of social networking sites: Use the sites to re-connect with old acquaintances and make new ones.


Join The Conversation
mirawilliams mirawilliams 9 years
My contract ended in February and I was interviewing since November. There were a lot of cold calls but everytime I saw a job I wanted, I would contact my network and ask them, "I'm applying here. Who do you know? What are they like? How should I approach them? It helped. People were very helpful. I got a lot of interviews and landed a job.
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 9 years
Yes, I'm unemployed and depressed. It's so frustrating to find work. I'm having such a hard time.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
Cleegians your networking needs to be more strategic than telling everyone you know that your looking for a job isn't the way to go. You need to focus on one industry and maybe try a contract position you never thought you would have an interest in. You'll learn a ton and all it does is make you more marketable. Instead of bashing the advice on here you should take it and run. We have all been in the position of not having a job and it is a ton of work.
dereine dereine 9 years
I agree that networking is the key. If you are a college graduate, your alumni association is key. Also, whatever industry you are trying to break into there is always a corresponding association you may want to join. I have been looking for a new job and have two job interviews set up and all I did was send a blind cover letter along with my resume, and I received two responses (out of the 50+ resumes I sent). I have a specific industry I want to work in and used google to find lists of companies and I went from there.
cleegiants cleegiants 9 years
as someone who's currently been on the job market for 3+ months, these tips are interesting. yes networking is important, but it's not everything. i've told everybody i know that i'm looking for a job and everybody promises to 'keep an eye out', but when there are fewer positions in general, just knowing somebody still isn't enough. and as a single young woman, it's hard to take a contract or PT position because i need benefits. and the phone call sending out 15-20 letters? that is difficult to do every week. all in all, i gotta's easy to suggest these tips as a writer behind a desk with a job.
GeriAnne1932 GeriAnne1932 9 years
Fasion...join an organization of people that work in your field, if there is one. Or google a bunch of places and send a nice flattering email to one of the execs who looks like they have a cool job and ask to do an informational interview or meet for coffee....let them know that you are seeking "their wisdom" People love to be flattered like that. As Feisty said, internships are the way to go, even if it's just an hour or two a week. I had to accept a much lower position when I first started out in PR because I didn't have any PR internships (even though I had the knowledge and ability) since my education was in another area and I wanted to shift gears...lower position and profoundly lower salary. Internships help with networking and monetary compensation.
fiestygirl fiestygirl 9 years
fasion...thats why you need to do an internship now, make the connections
fiestygirl fiestygirl 9 years
thank god people will always be sick, and bc we don't insure everyone...some people only come in when they are on their death bed. And they see me in the ICU! As long as there are greedy people, I will always have a job.
fashionhore fashionhore 9 years
Ok, so here is a hard question: How do you network when you don't know anybody in the industry that you are trying to get into? I literally know no one, and it is making my job hunt for after graduation really difficult!
GeriAnne1932 GeriAnne1932 9 years
Excellent tips. I was actually let go from my job about a month ago because the small PR firm I was employed at lost a huge client due to a buyout. It was a blessing because I was bored anyway, but I will admit that it has been difficult in the job search. Great tips!
karisaamy karisaamy 9 years
Thanks for the great ideas, I have a job I hate right now so I'm looking for something that is a better fit.
cubadog cubadog 9 years
Here is my 2 cents... 1. Contact a recruiter that a friend has had recent success and be patient. I did that and a company that I had interviewed with last year is now flying me out to Boston next week for my third interview. 2. Networking has been the most beneficial to me right now. I have made some great connections and am at the top of many lists. 3. I am a contractor right now and I think it was the smartest move I made. Even if I do not get hired permanently at my current company I have taken every class they have suggested and it has made my resume 500 times better.
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