How to Start a Job Search During Difficult Times

If you’re one of the thousands laid off in the recent downsizing or just worried about your job security, you’ve probably started thinking about starting a job search.

When the economy, stock markets and cryptocurrencies are struggling and there are fears of a recession, the impact of runaway inflation and possible stagflation, it makes finding a job that much harder. . Companies are beginning to cut costs, contributing to additional layoffs and hiring freezes. You will enter a tougher job market, competing with many other people. Compared to your colleagues and friends who luckily found a job a few months ago during the Great Resignation, you will now find that it will not be so easy. To prepare for a search in difficult times, you need to have a solid game plan.

What do you want to do after?

Before you worry about writing a resume, think carefully about the type of job and career you want. Find a compelling reason why you want to get this new job. It could be getting out of a bad boss, the need to make more money because inflation is cutting into your budget, or you’ve lost a job and need to get back to work and earn a regular salary.

You might be financially well off, but want to pursue a different type of career or learn new skills to reinvent yourself. Making it a goal-oriented business will provide you with the motivation and willpower to face all the rejections and obstacles that come your way.

Be careful before changing jobs

Just because there are layoffs in your company doesn’t mean you have to jump ship right away. Sometimes, after the cuts are complete and you are still standing, there may be opportunities for advancement within the organization as the bottleneck at the top has been removed.

Prior to the interview, do your due diligence to gather market information in your area of ​​expertise. Right now, much of the job cuts and hiring freezes are focused on the tech, venture capital-backed startups, and cryptocurrency sectors.

Get a feel for the job market by talking confidentially with co-workers, religiously reading the financial press to see what’s going on, watching the news, and listening to podcasts that cover the job market, economy, and business. other factors that will help you get an idea of ​​what is going on. which areas may hold firm, and which ones may be struggling.

Your industry may be doing relatively well and you may want to wait and see what happens before you abruptly change jobs. You don’t want to risk being the last hired and the first fired when things go wrong.

Treat your job search like a job

Your job search should become a second job, if you are currently working. If you’re in between roles, job hunting is your main job.

The biggest challenge many people faced before was deciding which of the many offers you offer would be the best fit. Now you will be happy if you can get an interview. This new, more difficult labor market requires a lot of time and effort. Every day you will have to allocate a considerable amount of time to job hunting.

Here are the essential things you need to do daily


One of the most important things to do in a job search is networking. Unfortunately, the term has a bad connotation. It makes people think of awkward networking events. You wear a sticker with your name on it and greet strangers with a fake smile and a sweaty handshake.

Modern online networking is different. Make a list of all the people you know who can help you in your job search. These are the people who may have ties to the target companies you want to work for, actually work in the organizations, or are well connected with a wide variety of people. Tap into your college alumni. Tell your family, friends and neighbors about it. If you attend religious services and social events at churches, temples, or mosques, let people know that you are open to new opportunities. At parties and gatherings, don’t be shy; tell people you’re actively researching and asking for potential leads.


On LinkedIn, search for recruiters, potential hiring managers, human resources, and internal corporate talent acquisition recruiters. Send them messages that you would like to work for their company.

To grow your online network, send invitations to people in your industry. Once connected, politely ask if they could help point you in the right direction. Respond to messages from other members and write your own content. If you’re brave, LinkedIn offers a feature to write articles on the platform, and you can upload and share videos. In posts, share your skills, talents, background, and experience. Also, discuss your job search journey openly, as it will resonate with people and show your human side.

LinkedIn offers a feature that you can place on your profile. It’s an #opentowork banner in a green circle around your photo. This signals to everyone that you are actively looking and motivated to find a new job. In addition to the banner, you should explain the type of role you are looking for and why your experience is a perfect fit for those roles.

Update your resume and social media

Once you’ve done your homework, it’s time to update your LinkedIn profile and write a resume. If you’re not comfortable or don’t know what to do, contact career coaches and resume writers online.

Also be sure to check your Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok and other apps and platforms you are on to make sure you haven’t said anything inflammatory or indecent that could bring a charge. recruitment to forward your application.

Contact recruiters and career coaches

Look for recruiters who specialize in your space. You can find them on LinkedIn and asking co-workers who have gotten great jobs in your field who they’ve used. Check job boards to find recruiters who post a lot of jobs relevant to your industry. Once you’ve isolated a handful of recruiters, contact them to schedule a meeting in person or online to forge a relationship.

Other tasks

Find job sites specializing in your area of ​​expertise. Don’t rely on just one source. Make a habit of checking job boards and online job postings every day to see what’s new.

In addition to your basic resume, tailor your resume to meet the specific needs of the job you are applying for. Include a cover letter that highlights your accomplishments and offers specific facts the company should know, such as if you’re open to remote, hybrid or office work, or even if you’re considering relocating.

Consult your recruiters regularly. You don’t want to be too pushy. Recruiters are paid by companies to find and place talent. They have a financial incentive to find you a job. If you haven’t heard from them, it’s as if they don’t have a role at the moment. It’s good practice to recommend someone who might be a good fit for one of your recruiter’s roles. They will appreciate the referral and it will motivate them to help you.

Every day, reach out to people in your network. However, as with recruiters, you don’t want to harass them. Space out contacts so they don’t feel like you’re becoming a nuisance.

Review your elevator pitch to master it. Role-play the most frequently asked interview questions so you’re ready for the tough ones. Read blogs and books about the interview process. Study what’s going on in your field and figure out who’s hiring and who’s firing. Buy a new interview outfit. Keep a record of the jobs you have applied for and the names of the people you have been in contact with.

Mindset matters

In difficult times, you will have to stay positive. Avoid victimizing yourself. Think about all your past accomplishments and victories. Try to disregard the negative thoughts that pop into your head. Don’t brood over a bad interview. Instead, focus on how you can improve and where the next opportunity is.

Be sure to take the time to reward yourself for hitting your benchmarks. Take your family out to celebrate a good interview. Treat a recruiter or friend to a beer after work to introduce you to a new opportunity. Take time to unwind and relax. You need some downtime to gather your mental, emotional, and physical strength to keep moving forward.

Amanda J. Marsh