10 Tips for Improving Job Search Strategies in Challenging Times
1. Increase your network of contacts and research industries as well as companies that are thriving in challenging times. The INC5000 list features fast-growth companies that are privately held. Small to medium-sized companies often have more job opportunities than larger companies.
2. Improve your networking approach through well-written emails that are sent to people on LinkedIn who work at companies you are targeting. Your pitch should include something you have in common, e.g., people you both know, colleges you attended, companies where you have worked, areas of expertise or interests you have in common.
3. Do informational interviews remotely via Zoom. Start with your school alumni and established contacts; then speak with newer contacts once you have mastered your pitch. Also, always offer to be of assistance to your contacts.
4. If you have only been targeting jobs in corporations, expand your horizons and target county, state, and federal agencies, as well as non-profits, foundations, universities, and even international organizations such as The World Bank, United Nations, EBRD in London, and The Asian Development Bank in Manila. Idealist.org lists jobs in non-profits and USAJobs.gov features opportunities in federal agencies throughout the U.S.
5. Contact Employment Agencies. Recruiters are always seeking qualified candidates to place within client companies for fulltime, part-time, and temp-to-perm jobs.
6. Move to a new city, state, or country, which may have more job opportunities in your preferred industries and perhaps has a lower cost of living, e.g., Portugal. You can always return to your home region after a few years of experience gained elsewhere.
7. Consider starting your own business. Wherever there are problems or challenges to overcome, new businesses are being created offering products and/or services to solve problems, e.g., making PPE. Small Business Development Centers are hosted by community colleges and universities and they help entrepreneurs at: americassbdc.org.
8. Create a Plan B and Plan C. Consider changing job functions and/or industries by developing new skills and areas of expertise through obtaining a new degree or a certificate. Many scholarships are available at MBA, Master, and Doctoral programs. Consider studying abroad, which may offer unique cultural and lifestyle opportunities.
9. Weak verbal skills can keep you from landing your dream job, so join a Toastmasters International Club to improve your communication skills. These clubs can also help you to expand your network of professional contacts in various industry clubs.
10. Hire a Career Coach to assist you with developing career plans and improving your resumes, cover letters, interviews, as well as to help you develop new and creative job search strategies.