How to Find a Job in a Bad Economy

It’s no secret that America is suffering from a difficult economy in which millions of people are either unemployed or underemployed, meaning they are overqualified for the job they have and not meeting their earning potential.

If you are one of these people and looking for a new or better job, you are most likely searching for jobs online, either on company websites, job boards, or website job finder services. One job finder service said that 57.2 million people look for jobs online on a regular basis.

If you are one of them, you can increase your odds of being hired by following a few guidelines.

Quality Over Quantity

Some people believe that the best way to find a new job is simply to apply for everything they find for which they qualify. In reality, this is a bad job finding strategy. You are more likely to be successful in your job search if you focus on a few jobs rather than many.

Find jobs you are truly interested in and then tailor your resume and cover letter to that specific company and job. Once you have applied for the position, be determined to follow up on the hiring process and make human connections. If at all possible, try to get a resume into the hands of a real person at the office, and call the hiring party to make sure they’ve received it and that you appreciate their consideration.

Emphasize the Right Skills

Companies who are hiring need to be able to understand your value at a glance. The best way to get this message across is with quantifiable details or, simply speaking, with numbers. However you can explain your accomplishments with measurable data will be good for your resume – the quick time length in which you completed a complicated project, the number of new accounts you signed in a six month period – if you can show your worth in numbers, companies will pay attention.

On the flip side, it is also important to emphasize your “soft skills” on a resume. In addition to listing your technical skills, certifications, and degrees, you’ll want to offer examples of your team work skills or your ability to handle conflict in the work place. These skills are extremely important to employers – they want to know that you are not only able to do your job, but also to be an enjoyable and effective part of their work force.

Look Online for Jobs – But Not Where You Think

Though almost every major business publication says the best way to find a job is through personal networking, with 30% of hires resulting from direct referrals, the majority of job seekers still use online job boards and resume posting sites as their main source of job finding. Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to create a personal connection through basic job boards like Monster.com or SimplyHired.com.

Instead, use all your social resources – friends, family, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, even Craigslist – to reach out and find anyone who knows about open positions or companies that may be hiring soon.

If you do insist on using traditional online job sites, then make sure to update your resume consistently. Resumes that sit dormant for too long are not likely to come up on an employer’s radar when searching.

Manage Your Online Presence

Whether or not you decide to reach out to people using online social networks, you must know what information is available about you online. 70% of managers have been quoted as saying they didn’t hire someone because of information they discovered about them via social networking or a simple internet search.

At the very least, you must search yourself and see what information becomes available, as well as making sure all your social sites are scrubbed clean of anything a potential employer might find offensive or distasteful.

But even better would be to use these sites as an arena to show off your strengths and talents. Link to blogs or portfolios, show off skills that can be utilized in your field, and don’t be afraid to show things that you are passionate about – give a potential employer a chance to see you in your best light.

Finding a new job is always a daunting task, but especially so in a bad economy when there are four unemployed citizens to each available job. So take some time and effort and do what you need to make your job search as painless – and as successful – as possible.

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