You might think finding a job nowadays is near impossible and with so many vying for a couple openings, you have good reason to believe so. But you will find one. Here, Juan Morales, managing director of executive search firm Stanton Chase International, tells you how to increase your chances of landing your next big gig!
- Make the recession work for you. “A ‘new order’ as a result of workforce reductions, scaling back of resources and leaner organizations has resulted in a need for people who can work in this environment,” Morales points out. “Highlighting the ability to do more with less can be a distinct advantage.” Use this opportunity to showcase ways the company can save money while increasing efficiency.
- Network your butt off. “A good network is worth its weight in gold and still the best way to conduct a job search,” Morales says. “That’s why it’s the single-most important activity a job seeker should pursue. There is no substitute for a good recommendation, a personal reference or being ‘in the know’ of a prospective employer.” So pull out the Rolodex and work those contacts.
- Prioritize wisely. “Job seekers should invest most of their energy in researching their targeted companies and their competition, as well as in networking and staying current.” Do your homework: know the company inside and out and learn about new trends by reading trade magazines and speaking with people in the field.
- Think about a crossover. If another field has been catching your eye, now might be the time to venture towards it. If you do, be sure to do your research. Set up informational interviews with others knowledgeable in the field. (P.S. You’ll increase your network this way!) Also think about how your current skills will translate in another field and emphasize those that will be an asset in your new career. “Leveraging the functional portability of skills from one field to another is critical to success,” Morales says. “Stressing adaptability and flexibility, as well as the ability to add value by bringing a different perspective to a role should be considered.”
- Tap into your resources. Yes, networking should be top priority, but don’t forget to participate in trade, community and special interest organizations. And while the Internet is a great research tool to stay on top of job opportunities, trends and current events, Morales warns against using it as an end-all. Not all job openings are listed online and there’s nothing like a little face time!
- Don’t lose hope. In fact, several fields are actually thriving these days! “Medical, life sciences, green technologies and non-profit organizations have enjoyed continued growth during this period” Morales says. “And customer service and finance-related roles are holding up in this economy as well.”
Along with the legwork, it’s important to have faith that your next job is waiting for you to find it. “Present yourself in a manner that reflects your flexibility and potential for future growth” Morales says. “A good feel and current knowledge of the targeted sector will set you apart from those who won’t succeed. And remember, the need for good, qualified talent is still quite high!”