6 Tips for Job Searching During Difficult Economic Conditions

During times of economic trouble, job-seeker anxiety can understandably run high for those looking for internships and full-time employment. For those graduating soon, the current environment can feel especially distressing.

Having worked in the career development field for over 20 years, I have supported clients as they successfully navigate economic recessions and have learned a lot in the process. Below are my top tips based on what actions can help lead to successful job outcomes.

  • First, there is ALWAYS hope. Even in difficult times, new jobs and internships will be posted. Keep job searching and don’t give up just because the economy is challenged. Get started right away and be resilient.
  • Be flexible. Job seekers that are open to organizations (and locations) they hadn’t previously considered will have more success than those that only pursue options with a limited number of dream employers.
  • Notice which organizations are more and less impacted. For example, the current pandemic is impacting hospitality particularly hard, but companies that support critical needs such as food and healthcare will likely need staff. Due to the recent surge in virtual work, software companies supporting these remote technologies might need staff to manage demand.
  • You need HIGH QUALITY resumes, cover letters, LinkedIn profiles, and interview skills. When jobs get posted, expect organizations are going to get a lot of applications. You need well-crafted materials to land an interview and you need to nail the interview to get hired. The career team is here to help you shine! Check out our resources page for video tutorials and links to helpful tools.
  • Leverage your network – especially the DU network! When employers have openings, they may prefer to fill the role via word-of-mouth to avoid a deluge of applications. As a result, this is a critical time to be conducting informational meetings with professionals.
  • Seek out temporary positions through staffing agencies. You can also offer to do project work or part-time work for companies and organizations of interest. They may be able to afford that more than a full-time benefited position and, if you do good work, you are likely to be the first person hired full-time when finances allow.

In the past recession, students who regularly used career services were more likely to land a job after graduation. The Career & Professional Development team is here to help – make a virtual appointment, visit our online drop-in hours, or check out our events listings for upcoming webinars. We are all in this together!

By Heidi J. Perman
Heidi J. Perman Assistant Vice Chancellor, Career & Professional Development