Insight News

Feb 14th

Looking for work? You may need to break a few rules

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Plan your Career by Julie DesmondIf you are looking for work right now, I am interested in hearing from you. Please write to me with your questions, and let me know how your job search is progressing.

Maybe due to the sheer number of people out there looking for work, I’m noticing that things are changing quickly: what worked well for job seekers six months ago absolutely needs to be fine tuned right now. Some of my candidates recently have found work by tweaking their approach in ways I would have advised against even a few months ago. You are going to have to be creative. The rules of professionalism and etiquette still stand, but the approach you take to your search can mean the difference between hired and still looking.

You might have to accept a lower salary than you’re used to. Do this if you can add to your skillset or to join a company with a good outlook for opportunity long term.

You might have to change industries. This is a good idea in any job market. Be open to applying for opportunities that look a lot like your past roles, but in a new industry.  Moving from auto manufacturing into medical device manufacturing can be a good forward move, if you can do it.

You might have to be more assertive. Your application can fall through the cracks when you are one of possibly hundreds applying for a position. Get out there and meet people at job fairs, networking events and professional group meetings. I’m more likely to hire someone I have met over someone equally qualified whom I’ve only seen on paper. That said, don’t show up in the company’s lobby and demand to see a hiring manager. Be assertive, not aggressive.

You might have to go back to school. A computer class or an interview skills class can help most people. Getting a GED is imperative – if you don’t have a high school diploma, that should be your first move.  Going back to college is a good idea if you can afford it. Most schools have a variety of aid programs you might be eligible for if you are currently unemployed.

You might have to keep trying. Job hunts can be depressing. Unless you are in sales, you probably are not used to the total, daily rejection a recession-era job search can pour over you. Remember, it isn’t personal. Keep looking. New job postings happen every day. Apply to at least a few jobs every week. If you want to get hired, people need to know you’re out there.

You might have to take something part-time for a while. Taking something – anything – will get you up and out of the house, and might give you the chance to meet someone who can hire you somewhere else. Money coming in the door is good, too.

You might have to move. With the Internet, you can find out about positions all over the United States.  Improve your chances by opening your search to other states, and to rural areas within Minnesota, where employees are harder to find. This may be a last resort, but don’t rule it out.

Later, when the job market swings back toward normal, I will tell you to forget most of what you read in this article. These aren’t normal times, though. Be creative. Be open. And eventually, you will be working.

Julie Desmond is Senior Recruiter for the Walstrom Group in Minneapolis.  Write to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .


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