How to Manage Your Career During an Economic
Consider the following tips:
Evaluate your professional standing and key trends within your
industry, company, and profession. What do you need to change? How
can you do it? How does your profession look five years from now? Two
years from now? What threats do you foresee? What opportunities exist?
Based on your analysis, develop a comprehensive action plan that will
help you leverage your strengths and overcome your weaknesses.
Networking is not a post-layoff or when-you-feel-like-doing-it activity.
All successful professionals incorporate networking as an integral and
active component of their career management plan. Tradeshows,
conferences, industry and social events, online networking tools—networking
opportunities have never been so easily accessible.
What is your value proposition? What is so unique about you that
employers will want to retain you irrespective of what happens to the
company financially? We all have something unique to offer and if
you can develop a powerful value proposition demonstrating how
indispensable you are, you will be in a much better position that most
in professional development:
This is the Information Age, an environment in which information becomes
obsolete faster than fashion. Through continuing education programs and
other professional development efforts, it is very important to stay
abreast with the cutting-edge of your profession.
leadership and the ability to take on challenges:
The economy inevitably imposes financial strains on any company and
under such conditions every employee is expected to do more—take more
work, manage multiple tasks, lead projects, and epitomize
"cross-functional" in every sense of the term.
to volunteer on projects and take on leadership roles. The key is to
demonstrate how you can contribute toward the organization’s success and
deliver an optimal ROI for the company.
Update your resume every month, if not every week. Highlight your
recent accomplishments and create a powerful document that will position
you as the perfect solution for any employer’s needs.
your options open:
With all the above strategies, keep your eyes open to new opportunities.
Through a portfolio of job search strategies, including networking, you
should generate a steady stream of job leads.
Effective career management is an ongoing effort. Once employers
recognize how valuable you are, recession or growth, they will do
everything they can to retain you.
Nimish Thakkar is a sought-after career management
coach and professional resume writer.
Recession Proof Your Job Search
When the job market is tight, it may be tempting to cut corners on your
job search, but for the sake of landing a position, please don’t. When
it’s a buyer’s market, you owe it to yourself to put your best foot
forward. To stand out, there are three key
factors you need to concentrate on—your resume, interview skills, and a
While a homespun resume would have garnered interviews in the past, in a
tight market you have to step up your game. This isn’t a time to rely on
a friend’s goodwill and use her as your "resume writer."
Search for a professional—a Nationally Certified Resume Writer or
someone who works at a Career or One-Stop Center. A professionally
written resume can make the difference between getting called in for an
interview and getting overlooked.
To ensure the best possible service, ask to look at the writer’s resume
samples. Don’t get caught up in all of the hype regarding certifications
and publications. This advice may sound strange coming from a Nationally
Certified Resume Writer and published author, but I’ve been in the
career-services industry long enough to know that quality work trumps
That said, you can and should add weight to the extras, but the bottom
line is that you have to be comfortable with the quality of work you
2. Interview Skills
Admit it. How many interviews have you gone on without preparing? In a
job-seeker-friendly market when companies are clamoring for great
employees, the "wing it" method works just fine. But to compete in
today’s market, you have to invest time getting acquainted with
common interview questions and sample responses.
To get you started, here are a few.
Many candidates have submitted their resume for consideration. Why
should I hire you over other qualified candidates? Keep in mind that
the interviewer is interested in your candidacy. That is the reason you
are interviewing for the position. When answering this question, mention
the three main reasons you stand out from others. Depending on your
position, reasons can include your proficiency in account management,
customer service, and/or strategic planning.
What do you know about our company? There is a difference between
wanting a job and taking a sincere interest in working for the hiring
organization. There are no shortcuts to answering this question
successfully; you have to conduct research.
What areas of your abilities would you like to improve upon? This is a
tricky way of asking, "What is your greatest weakness?". Choose an
ability that needs improvement but isn’t an integral part of your job.
3. Follow-Up Strategies
The interview isn’t over when you walk out of the interviewer’s office.
Chances are, many candidates interviewed for the position before you did
and many more will interview for the position after you. To remain
competitive, it is essential that you write a follow-up letter.
This is advice most job seekers tend to ignore. And it’s a shame because
the follow-up letter can seal a job offer. This is because only a small
percentage of job seekers write a follow-up letter, so those who do take
the time to write one stand out.
Below is a sample of a follow-up letter.
"Thank you for the opportunity to interview for . The level of
professionalism displayed by the associates immediately impressed me.
Each was warm and exuded a level of enthusiasm that is contagious. My
initial impression of was solidified during our interview. From the
information you relayed during our meeting, my qualities are a direct
fit with the job opening.
Please know that I remain interested in working at . If necessary, I’m
open to attending another round of interviews to explore this
I can be reached at (631) 387-1894 or firstname.lastname@example.org. I look
forward to your positive response."
Following the advice above will make you more confident. Confidence
leads to more interviews. More interviews leads to job offers. Job
offers leads to career satisfaction.
So what are you waiting for?
- Linda Matias
Certified in all three areas of the job search—Certified Interview Coach
™ (CIC), Job & Career Transition Coach (JCTC), and Nationally Certified
Resume Writer (NCRW)