A recession is a time where in opportunities are rare and the job marketplace gets more competitive as more and more people in similar skill sets are fighting it out for the same position. The question that comes to mind is “In times like these how do I differentiate my resume so that my resume gets shortlisted and provides me an interview opportunity?”.
The techies should upgrade their skill sets and advertise them through multiple forums so that potential employers learn about them through various means. They should actively participate in many message boards and try to comment on technical issues that promote them as experts in their fields. Activate your linkedin (www.linkedin.com) profile and start answering more questions relevant to your areas of expertise. The below recommendations comes from http://blog.distinctiveweb.com/.
In the definitive guide to using LinkedIn for business and career management purposes, “I’m On LinkedIn: Now What?” Jason Alba explains that there are six major benefits to using LinkedIn:
1) The ability to be known and enhance your personal brand
2) The ability to be found by recruiters or other hiring authorities
3) The ability to find others and make important connections
4) The opportunity to learn and share
5) The ability to connect with group members
6) The opportunity to show you are plugged in to current technology
The resume will provide credentials in form of message boards/blogs that are publicly available and wherein you have contributed effectively. Also you should highlight the technical problems that could not have been solved without your availability in that given time and how critical was your expertise required at the time asked for and the impact that it had either on your employer business or their customers business.
A linkage between technology and business perspective always tells the prospective employer that you know what you do and why it is relevant to your employer.
2008 is believed to be a year of recession with succession of bad news and everybody is searching for security in this uncertain world. Hotjobs has listed few jobs that they believe will be recession proof at http://hotjobs.yahoo.com/career-articles-recession_proof_jobs_in_2008-296. Unfortunately technology does not figure as one of the recession proof sector.
Infoworld has recommended a method approach to come out more secured and better off at http://www.infoworld.com/article/08/04/04/Secrets-for-searching-for-a-job-during-a-recession_1.html. They believe that it would be more challenging for employees to remain focused and be patient as it’s a market wherein the employers are calling the shots and determining hiring plans. Jobs are in employers control and they are exercising the power accordingly. Don’t be pressed too hard for finding another good source of income but spend valuable time doing your research. You could also focus on growth industries and job specialization like for IT the following are high paying job specialization for current year
— IT management
— IT consulting
— Wired telecom
— ISPs and Web search portals
— Internet publishing and broadcasting
— Lead application developers and Web design professionals
— Data warehousing, data modelers and business intelligence analysts
— Senior administrators (DBA, network, security)
You can also consider non-profits and public sector for right opportunity as they are very open during downturn. Find out which environment will suit your style as each of start-up, mid size and large enterprise has different workplace environment and may not be fulfilling your natural styles. Remember that your resume is a marketing tool and not a bio. Focus on how you subject matter expertise and result oriented approach will benefit your future employer. “You need to demonstrate throughout — on your resume, your application, and in your communications with a targeted employer — that you have delivered results on the problem the employer is facing,” says Phil Wallner, president of Provident Link, an IT and executive recruiting firm.As Gregory Laka and Company’s McCann notes, “There are not a lot of people who can leave their thumbprint on a business. Those individuals are the top 10 percent of the talent pool. They are the people that businesses will always look to hire no matter what the market or economy.”
Newsday mentions about the deer-in-the-headlight feeling when the pink slip arrives and recommends that you become more active and network more and upgrade your skills amongst other measures to straighten out in these tough times. You can read more at http://www.newsday.com/business/ny-bzcover0309,0,450528.column. You can even turn to college for career help and find a suitable position. Its good to have a fallback income when you are still employed. You can be close to 20’s something in your group to learn latest skill sets from them and also decrease your change resistance inertia as these groups are more welcoming to job hopping and are fearless of new environs.
Robert Scoble recommends through his post at http://scobleizer.com/2008/01/23/what-to-do-if-youre-laid-off-in-2008-recession/ for come out of your comfort zone and not to be lazy and quotes example from personal experience about how he overcame when he laid off himself in 2002. He also says that its okay to pay bill using government grants but you should continuously work hard at improving your resume and cover letter. It’s also a time when you should worry less about bad times and build a healthy mind that will help you spend quality time with your family and yourself, they too have missed you when you were obsessed with your assignment. Compare putting on your resume “building it system for red cross” vs “sipping coconut at beach side” and which carries more weightage. Always be on your toes as you never know who will come by and say “Can you come over this afternoon?” You can simply shoot more little videos from cheap web cams and keep listing them on youtube and you never know which one of them would find the mass appeal and make you famous and wanted by the media moguls.
Web is a cool place to hang out but continuously search for avenues that will give little incomes like mturk from http://mturk.amazon.com. Get paid for browsing and do little assignments for people who post in craiglist. You could also develop expertise on either Google/Facebook web platform and showcase your abilities through your web postings. Web is not exclusive property for few so leverage it to your benefit and have a substantial presence on it.
List how you added value in the past and find out what your prospective employer is looking as a value add for their immediate need. As hiring plan get more focused employers will have less time to figure out if you are a fit to role or not and should they continue interviewing you more or not. Thus your research on employer as well as your homework on your resume and cover letter would come handy when you reach the appointed date and time for job interview. Employers are becoming more choosy and you have to be the best fit and thus the onus comes more on you to prove that you are indeed the right alignment for the stated job.