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The Do’s and Don’ts of job hunting during a recession

60% of Australia’s workforce have never experienced a recession. So, what do you do if you need to find a new job in the current market?

The competition for good quality jobs increases as many skilled people are made redundant and recent University graduates flood the job market. At the same time, many employers review their hiring plans, and some may hold off recruiting all together.

Understanding what is required to achieve success with your job search is essential. Resumes and cover letters MUST be customized, and your job search methods need to be more strategic.

Obtaining interviews becomes more difficult and salary negotiations come to be more sensitive.

It is now an employers’ market and job seekers need to adapt.

Whilst technological advancements since the previous recession have simplified the application process and made it easier and more convenient to apply for positions, it has also made it more difficult to stand out from the crowd.

Here are the Do’s and Don’ts of job hunting during a recession:

1. Don’t take a “shotgun” approach

The “shotgun” approach – firing off an identical resume to every possible position – doesn’t work at the best of times.

By sending the same resume to everyone, you don’t stand out to anyone!

During a recession, the shotgun method can become even more attractive to job seekers because it makes you feel like you’re doing something. But at the end of the day, your efforts may be in vain.

2. Develop a plan of attack

The anxiety and stress that people can experience when looking for a job is heightened during a downturn and can result in desperate actions that lack focus.

Slow down, develop a plan, and stick to it. Your plan should focus on both your short and long-term goals, take into account your experience, unique skills and talents.

You’ll find a new job faster by developing and sticking to a plan rather than sending your resume to every job advertised and then wondering why you’re not hearing from anyone.

If you have connections with a recruitment consultant, reach out to them to discuss your plan and gain their feedback as to whether your goals are realistic and achievable in the current market.

3. Identify growth industries

Your chances of finding a good job (and keeping it) increase when you focus on job opportunities in growth industries. This is especially true during a recession.
South Australia’s current fastest-growing industries include:

    • Healthcare
    • Food, Wine & Agribusiness
    • Defence
    • Technology
    • Advanced Manufacturing

A focused job search is much more effective than chasing every job opening you come across.

Do your research and once you’ve identified a number of industries and potential organisations, have a look at your network and see if you may already know someone who could facilitate an introduction.

4. Keep going

Don’t stop your search until you are certain that your new position is 100% confirmed. In a challenging market, things can change quickly and it’s not unheard of for jobs to be withdrawn.

If you are waiting on a second interview or job offer, keep applying for other roles and continue your job search until you have a contract in your hands!