It’s tough to find a good job that pays a fair wage.  It’s even tougher to find one in the midst of a recession.

The continuing global credit crisis and stubbornly high unemployment rates are making this one of the most challenging times in decades to find work.  Whether you’re unemployed, underemployed or fearful that your job is in jeopardy, however, there is no reason to lose hope.  Use these suggestions to find a great job – even in a tough economy:

Take a personal inventory. When was the last time you sat down and listed everything you have to offer a potential employer?  If it’s been more than six months, it may be time to take a personal inventory.  Start your job search by first listing all of your skills, talents, abilities, experience, strengths and weaknesses.  If you have a hard time evaluating yourself, ask a trusted friend or relative to add to the list.

Update your résumé. Incorporate the results of your personal inventory into your résumé.  When you revise your résumé, make sure it follows one of today’s accepted formats, is error free and presents you in the best possible light – while remaining factual.  Focus on your skill sets, measurable results achieved and the reasons a prospective employer might want to hire you.  If you need help, plenty of free résumé writing resources are available online.

Tap into your networks. The more people you connect with, the more job opportunities you’ll encounter.  Make sure you leverage all the resources available to you:

  • Alumni networks.  Your alumni services group can connect you with potential employers, as well as former classmates who can provide invaluable referrals.
  • Work contacts.  If you’re unemployed, go through your list of work contacts and reach out to former co-workers, bosses, etc.  Let them know that you’re looking and ask about potential opportunities.
  • Online social networks.  Social media such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook have made it fast, easy and free to connect with potential employers and learn about new job opportunities.  Spend a little time browsing each site to identify the networks that best suit your career interests.  Then, set up a profile and start connecting.  If you’re new to the world of social networking, follow this link to learn more about social media and how they can benefit your job search.

Schedule informational interviews. Unlike a traditional interview, in which your goal is to land a job, the informational interview is designed to help you learn about a company, an industry or a chosen career path.  The informational interview can help you:

  • learn more about a business and the potential role you could play in it;
  • build your self-confidence and enhance your interviewing skills;
  • establish new business contacts, which could lead to job offers down the road.

Consider contract, freelance or temporary employment. Being out of work for an extended period of time can take a toll on you – emotionally and financially.  Contingent employment offers several benefits to help you:

  • earn money while you search for direct employment;
  • keep your schedule flexible and your job skills up-to-date;
  • network with co-workers and assignment supervisors to uncover additional employment leads;
  • avoid gaps on your résumé.

In addition, contract and temporary positions sometimes lead to offers for direct employment.  Staffing services like Snelling also have direct placement divisions.  They can keep you working on assignment while searching on your behalf for a full-time job.

Be patient and stay positive. In a good economy, it takes an average of three to four months to find a job.  Given our current economic situation, it could easily take you up to a year to find the right opportunity.  Persevere in your efforts, even if the offers aren’t rolling in.  Rely on friends, family and fellow job seekers for support.  If you haven’t already, take a step in the right direction by contacting your local Snelling Staffing Services office today.