Searching for a job during a recessionChen Wan Lim
It can be extremely stressful when one is laid off from work during a recession and what happens in a recession period of time. Not only do you need to worry about the bills but also competing with thousands of other qualified candidates vying for that one available job. Apart from that, not only will you be competing against your peers, but you will also be competing against fresh graduates demanding much lower pays. According to SkootJobs.com, a recent survey conducted involving 1,700 job seekers in Malaysia showed that 80.6% of respondents found landing a job a challenge, with 35.3% of those saying it was very difficult to get a job. Here are five tips to help increase your chances of landing a job during a recession:
Tip 1: Targeting the right company
During a downturn, there will be some companies which are clearly in a contraction mode while there are some still in an expansion mode. For example, when the dot-com bubble burst in the early 2000s, internet related companies suffered massive declines overnight but computer hardware companies still managed to maintain healthy growth and expansion. For an affected job-seeker, the focus then should be shifting your career options to companies within an industry which are not affected in that current period. In this period, for instance, large oil and gas companies are in consolidation and contraction mode where big names such as Shell, BP, Total etc are rationalising and right-sizing their workforce. However, some local small-medium enterprise (SME) oil and gas companies specialising in niche areas are spared the brunt as their services are still needed to ensure the continuous supply of petroleum products – for example, downstream petrol pump dealers.
Tip 2: Re-schooling yourself
A study released by the Statistics Canada noted that Canadian university graduates went back to school in large numbers after the recession of 2008-2009, with almost half the class of 2010 taking further courses after their bachelor’s degree. The study further indicated that over the past decade, students have increasingly pursued more education after their bachelor’s degree, but the new figures show a jump in the number who found the classroom a better choice than the labour market. On a similar note, Quacquarelli Symonds or more popularly known as QS, also reported that some business school applicants tend to ‘ride out the storm’ by enrolling into business school as when the economy gets better after a downturn, the economy is probably going to need more business leaders as before.
These clearly indicate that obtaining higher qualifications post bachelor’s degree is important to be market competitive and to continue to stay in-demand in the labour market. The most direct way to obtain a postgraduate degree whilst maintaining your day job is to enrol in a part-time MBA course. Consult STUDYMASTERS.MY to get the latest and best advice on how to obtain an MBA that suits your needs.
Tip 3: Enhancing your resume
According to Jobstreet.com, the secret to an irresistible resume is to address the specific needs of the job you’re applying for. Tailor every resume to every job application instead of randomly dropping general resumes for every job opening. Highlight the education background that would appeal most to the job that you are applying for and showcase specific skill sets which are most suitable to the job you are applying for. An MBA or postgraduate qualification will definitely give you an added advantage over other applicants.
Tip 4: Leverage on your contacts
Getting laid-off does not mean that your relationship with previous clients, suppliers and co-workers end. In fact, the people that you know in your previous jobs are probably the best people to help you look for another job. The popular phrase ‘It’s not what you know, it’s who you know’ could not be more true than during a downturn. Try scrolling through your contact list and list down the people whom you think are able to assist you or even to connect you with a person who can. According to jobs report by U.S based staffing company Right Management, 41% of 59,133 clients surveyed noted that they landed a job through networking whereas only 8% secured a job through a direct approach.
Tip 5: Determination and tenacity
Never give up and continue to try. Allocate time to research through industries and jobs and spend some time tailoring individual resumes for different applications. Also, be patient and understand that during a downturn, there are many others in the same predicament as you are. The first female aviator who flew across the Atlantic Ocean once said, “The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward”.