Job Search Rules for a Soft Economy

It’s important to understand the ways in which this slow economy changes your job search.  During a recession, employers change their screening processes – they become more demanding about qualifications.  As one WorkSource business customer put it recently, “Now, I can afford to really dig deep for the best qualified candidate. I don’t mind that it’s a tough choice. For a while, a few years ago, I felt lucky if I had more than one resume to choose from!”

 Here are two ways to make sure you are competitive in this economy:

 Set clear goals and know what you can contribute to a company.  Companies now have the leisure of choosing not only the best qualified candidates, but also the most motivated.  Demonstrating motivation can be tricky.  Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a matter of claiming to be able to “do anything, once you get a chance.”  No one can do everything – saying so in business comes off as naïve.  A better strategy is to talk about your goals and values, and the skills you bring to the job. Include information on your computer and research skills, and a push for your oral and written communication skills.

Be prepared to compromise.  You may consider yourself lucky to get any offer in your field, so be thinking in advance about where you’re willing to compromise.  There are three things that comprise job “satisfaction”: Salary and benefits, interesting and challenging work, and potential for growth.  Rank these in order of importance for yourself.  Are you willing to wait out a recession almost anywhere, as long as the work is challenging and the people are great?  These are the questions and answers that will help you make decisions among offers.  There are no wrong answers, but one thing you may not have the luxury of doing is mulling too long over choices.  Know in advance what your preferences are. Make it something you can live with – you may have to wait out a recession in this cubicle or office. But make no mistake – good times will be back eventually.  Keep an eye on the economy, and plan for a bright future.  That way, you’ll be ready when it comes back around.

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