Career and Job Search Guide

5 Job Search Tips to Survive The Recession

Yes, we may be experiencing a recession but don't let that get you down. There are jobs -- and good jobs -- to be had even during a recession. You simply will need to get smarter and employ more effective job search strategies.

The following are five effective to incorporate into your job search during a weak job market:

1. Research and Consider All Your Options

Does the industry you're interested in look, from a hiring perspective, promising in the upcoming months? If not, you may want to consider a change. Many professionals pursue a career in line with their previous aspirations and experience only to find out that there aren't a lot of employers hiring for their target industry. If you're looking for a new job during a recession we recommend that you step back and identify the industries and jobs that are still performing well. The best place to find this information is on the Web in a major search engine.

2. Change Your Approach and Your Focus

Instead of asking, "What's in it for me?", start asking "What's in it for them?" Obviously, you need to find a job that meets your needs but during an economic downturn employers are the ones that can be picky about who they hire. Stay focused on what you bring to the table, what you can accomplish for your next employer. Make sure that every potential employer you meet with can see that you have what it takes to help move their company forward.

3. Be Results Oriented, not Skills Oriented

College students, in particular, tend to be skills oriented as they may not have much real-world, job related experience. While skills are important, skills don't always translate into measurable results -- as many employers know. If you want to land a job in a recession it's important to communicate that you know how to achieve results, and that you will achieve results for an employer if they hire you. You need to start thinking for yourself as a small profit-and-loss center rather than an employee. You must be able to communicate to potential employers how your skills, experience, and past job performance will help them increase their bottom line in a meaningful way.

4. Show That you Know What It's About -- Money!

A recession makes employers very money sensitive. All of a sudden it's all about the bottom line. During a down turn every decision an employer makes is driven by where or not it contributes to the bottom line. Consequently, employers will typically categorize potential candidates into one of two categories:
    a.) Those who will help them make money

    b.) Those who will help them save money
If a employer you don't fit into one of these categories it is very likely that you won't get hired. For the best chances of getting hired you want to communicate that you'll be the type of employee that helps an employer make money.

Include in your resume specific examples of benefits you've provided to previous employers. Come to your interviews with real examples of accomplishments that have contributed to the bottom line of an organizations income statement. You need to show potential employers in a meaningful way that you will help them make money or save money.

5. Make Sure Your R�sum� Show Achievement

Employers aren't interested in hiring run-of-the-mill employees, they want to hire problem solvers - people that can take the bull by the horns and get things done. Employees are cost centers that drain resources. Problem solvers are assets that are worth more to an employer than they cost. Use your resume to demonstrate specific achievements, achievements that greatly benefited previous employers, organizations or groups that you've worked with. Being able to position yourself as a problem solver, and not just another "employee", will put you several steps ahead of the competition - and will greatly increase your chances of getting an interview, and quite possibly a job during a recession.


Don't let a recession or weak job market get you down. There are still plenty of good job opportunities during a recession. To get the job you're looking for during a recession requires increased effort and more solution-selling to employers. You'll have a much better chance of getting a good job in a slow economy if you're able to position yourself as more of an asset than a liability.