job search in the recession

Having started my new job, I wanted to wrap up a few thoughts on how to find a job in a recession. Is it easy?

First of all, nothing is easy and it all depends on 2 main factors: 1) your personal profile and 2) the industry you are in.

Given my professional profile which you can see on Linkedin, I was in a good position when I was made redundant from my old employer who I was working with for just short of 18 months. It was decided to close down the sales operations and the office in London. I was not able to relocate to the head office in York due to personal reasons and therefore didn’t have a choice but to look for a new job. My advantage was that my boss did know that I was looking for a job so that I could use all means of social media. If you secretly look for a job, you cannot put it into your Linkedin profile as a status update.

What really works? I believe having a strong profile on Linkedin supported by as many positive recommendations on the profile helps employers and recruitment consultants to get a first impression of my ability, experience and what people think of me. Changing my status daily with what kind of jobs I am seeking and “shouting out loud” to the community that I am seeking a new position, helps immense. Within no time I was contacted by many recruitment consultants and friends of friends. Bottom line: it is very helpful to have a strong network and position oneself in it.

What else helps? Other networks, like Xing – but preferably for the German market – and Twitter. On Twitter you don’t only have the opportunity to broadcast your search but also to widen your search by following companies and recruitment consultants in order to pick up open positions. Particularly in the online and digital marketing industry you want to be seen and use those channels to see what is going on.

However, nothing is as effective as the personal contact. Meeting people from your network, invite them for coffee, lunch or a cup of tea in order to discuss the industry and opportunities. That is money and time worth spend! Meeting people, companies and recruitment consultants face to face is very beneficial and gives you a good impression on what is happening in the industry and whether the consultant is serious. In all honesty, I was approached by many recruitment consultants but only the one I met face to face managed to help me getting my current job.

Facebook itself, by many used as a personal network, works limited for job searches. However, if you cannot connect with someone on Linkedin, you hardly manage on Facebook.

So, it is about inbound marketing – again 🙂 Broadcast your message of searching for a job in all available channels, particularly Twitter and Linkedin. Then back it up with a high flying profile that really shows off on how great you are.

And, last but not least, make a good impression in the interviews and convince them of your capabilities. You can have a polished CV and Linkedin profile, but you need to be able to put “money” where your mouth is (I hope you can use that expression in this context).

The biggest question, is it different in a recession to look for a job than it is if there isn’t a recession? I believe there are less jobs going and more applicants for each job. So it is harder to stand out and be seen and noticed. The latter was addressed in this article. You have to stand out from the crowd and be better than everyone else applying. And, that is the case in a recession as much as it is if we aren’t in a recession. But the jobs are getting less, and if you are in the banking or financial sector, a high profile might not even be enough to get you to an interview, as there aren’t any. But….we will soon be out of it. 2010 is being hailed as the year of recovery. Fingers crossed, and good luck.