How to Look for a Job in a Down Market
Learn how to look for a job in a down market in this video with career expert Brian Alden.
Hi I’m Bryan Olden, founder and CEO of Job.com. And today we’re going to talk about how you could find a better job in a down economy, as well as how to get a better job in any economy. And right now I’d like to discuss some great job searching tips for you to find a better job. For a job seeker before they begin their job search should make sure that they kind of assess what they really want out of a job and out of a career. Our job seeker has to look back, and look inside themselves to see that the job they are currently in. Do they like it? What do they enjoy about it? What do they not enjoy about it? Can they do a job with a larger commute? Can they do a job with a less commute? They have to really look and find out what they want to do in life. When a job seeker spends 40 hours a week at least in a job, you want to make sure that it’s happy there, that the job is challenging, and that you find it very, very rewarding, and still have enough time to do extra curricular activities, spend time with your family, play some sports or whatever. With unemployment rates going up, there’s going to be more candidates available for potential employer to hire from. So it’s very, very important that a job seeker understands that the employers are going to hire the best of the best of the candidates that are available. So they got to make sure that their background is squeaky clean, that their reference is all in order, they need to make sure that their resume is up to date. They also need to make sure that they’re utilizing all of the resources available to them because the employers have more of a selection and a choice. There’ll be more competition for a lot fewer jobs. A lot more companies now are using background checks; they are not national security type checks but background checks for any type of job, and any type of employment. It could be an accountant. It could be a sales rep. They’re using a lot more of that, so a person may want to check their own background and find out if there’s anything in it that might come back and bite them during the interview process. A job seeker’s going to need to make sure they have an up to date resume, they don’t want to use a resume that is old and it doesn’t have current information on it. They’ll also want to make sure they want to take a look at their social networking page, and kind of clean that up. Employers don’t want to see, you know, you doing a keg stand, you know, on your social networking page. Again as the employment changes, and that there’s more candidates available, employers are going to be much more rigid in their standards. You can better believe in this day and age, they’re going to go back and check your social networking page, so you got to make sure that you clean it up. Also, you want to have a professional sound of a voice mail if you’re using your cell phone or your home phone, don’t use a cutesy voice mail, and you also want to have a professional sounding e-mail address. The best one that you can use is probably your first name and your last name and then whoever your internet servers provider is. You don’t want to use something, you know, that very funny and cutesy because employers are looking for more professional people instead of less professional people. “Hi! Christine Reed?” “Yes.” “Hi! Dan Price.” “Nice to meet you.” “Pleasure, pleasure. Thank you for coming for the interview this afternoon.” “Oh, thank you for having me.” “We appreciate it.” The internet is by far the best resource to use in searching for a job in 2009. Not only are you going to have almost all of the jobs that are currently available on the internet, you’re going to have a lot of different tools that you can use and, you can get a lot of different advice from career experts and people who are in a job search. Whether it’s posting your resume on a career sight, like a job.com or whether it’s using a social networking type or professional networking sight, the internet is just chockful of resources. The best tool that you probably can use though is one that’s called the job finder. These are typically free with most career sights, and what you do is you sign up and you put in all the information about the type of job that you really are looking for. That kind of goes back to when you are kind of assessing, you know, what you want out of a career. And what happens with the job finders is that the computer then searches the available jobs in that data base on that company’s website and then send you those jobs in your e-mail, so in a sense, you can be like looking for a job while you’re sleeping, and hopefully the jobs that come to you in your e-mail will be ones that you find interesting and then go ahead and apply to. As with using the internet, in general there are surely some job search safety tips for people who are using the internet to search for a job. One, never provide anybody over the internet your social security number. It’s very, very important that you keep that private. That’s one way these people will use your social security number to have an identity theft scam on you of some type. Another thing to make sure you’re looking out for is you never should have to pay a fee to get a job. If you’re buying a kit or something about franchising or whatever, that’s different, but you should never have to pay a fee to get a job. Thirdly, there is a type of job that is a scam where people are having you ship goods overseas and utilizing somebody else’s credit card and things like that. You probably see this on the news a couple of times, but they’re called shipping scams. Make sure you evaluate a company and that you can find that and learn a lot about a company before you accept any position. These shipping scams are wide spread throughout the internet, don’t get involved in one. Searching for a job while you’re employed is certainly harder that searching for a job when you’re not employed. However, it’s not an insurmountable task. One of things you do have to do though is make sure you maintain your confidentiality because you don’t want your current employer to know that you’re looking for a new job. And by doing that, you don’t want to use the resources of your current company to look for a new job. Don’t be searching for a new job on the company computer. Don’t be using the company fax machine. Don’t use your work e-mail to apply the job and so forth. Another thing that you can do when you post your resume to some of the resume data bases is use their confidential features. Most, every resume data base does have a confidential feature so at least that way you can maintain some confidential ability in your job search. Also, as you’re talking to your references, the people that you’re going to use for your references during your search make sure they understand and appreciate and maintain your confidentiality, you don’t, again, you don’t want your current employer to find out that you’re, you know, looking for a new job. If you’re working with an executive recruiter or what is known as a head hunter, realize too that they will maintain your confidentiality, that’s a part of what they do as they try and place candidates with their current employers. If you use these tips that we’ve talked about, we think that you’re going to find that you’re going to have a much more productive and successful job search.