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Tips for Career Searching During an Economic Downturn

Posted Wednesday, Aug 12, 2020 by Altierus

40 million Americans have lost their jobs in the last three months due to the coronavirus crisis.[i] It can be difficult to process numbers that large—and difficult to think about where to start looking for work if you’ve lost your own job. However companies are still hiring. In fact, LinkedIn’s “Grad’s Guide to Getting Hired” reports that there were over 1.5 million entry-level jobs open in the U.S. as of early June.[ii]

Searching for your next career opportunity can always be challenging, but even in a historically significant economic downturn, there’s hope. Here are a few tips for mounting a strategic career hunt in this difficult economy.

Prioritize Your Search

Don’t blast your resume across every job board and hope for the best. This is not the time to take a “shotgun” approach to job-hunting. Be more of a heat-seeking missile. Look for roles in the industries least affected by the downturn. According to LinkedIn, these include:

  • Healthcare
  • Transportation and logistics (delivery driving, etc.)
  • Retail[iii]

You can also look at the most in-demand job roles and see if your skills fit. For example, LinkedIn found that the most in-demand job openings included skilled trade roles like HVAC and electrical technicians as well as healthcare jobs such as surgical technologists. [iv]

Take the time to look into the companies whose job listings catch your eye. Learn about their history, who their customers or service users tend to be, and how your experience and skills might complement what they need.

Target Your Marketing Materials

If you’ve done your homework on the companies advertising the jobs you’re interested in, show that in your resume and cover letter.

In your resume, list your most relevant experience first, making sure to include specific skills or experience they asked for in the listing. In your cover letter, go into a little more detail about your experience and how it matches up with the job listing.

Don’t Be Afraid of Part-Time or Temp Roles

You may be worried that taking a part-time or temporary role now might reflect badly on you in the future. Don’t be. Being able to tell future hiring managers that you landed a job—any job—in the toughest economic situation since the 1930s is not likely to make them think less of you.

Plus, temporary or part-time roles could turn to a full-time offer later. You may also meet people who could be important networking contacts. There’s almost always a way to turn a “job for now” into something meaningful in the long term, even if it just means an opportunity to learn a new skill or strengthen an old one.

Use Your Network

Let the people in your life know you’re looking for work. Do you have current or former co-workers you can talk to about finding new job opportunities? Friends or relatives who are still employed who may know about their company’s plans to re-open or even expand during the crisis? Message or call them and ask if they’ve got any leads on job opportunities. Start with who you know, and don’t be afraid to post an announcement on your social media profiles—particularly your LinkedIn account.

Upskill Yourself

This crisis could also present the perfect opportunity to go to college and learn new skills. According to a recent report from CNBC, many people decided to pursue education or training during the Great Recession of 2008-2010, and research shows there were no long-term detrimental effects on their careers because of that decision.[v]

Going to college is different now than it was during the Great Recession, however—in fact, we’d say it’s probably better. More colleges than ever are offering online coursework, which makes attending class much more flexible than it would have been ten years ago. Even career and technical education (CTE) programs can implement this kind of “hybrid” learning. At Altierus, we combine in-person practical training with online coursework, which means you have more control over your schedule.

CTE programs also tend to be shorter than traditional college degrees. For example, Altierus offers a number of diploma programs you can complete in as few as nine months, or associate degree programs which take about two years of study. This can get you back into the job market more quickly.

Another benefit of going back to college—especially with Altierus—is that when you do enter the job market, you’ll have access to dedicated career services staff who can support your job search. Altierus students benefit from our connections with local and regional employers, as well as help with application materials like resumes and cover letters. Job searching can be less daunting when it’s a team effort—even in the midst of an economic crisis.

Learn More about Altierus Career College

Ready to train for new opportunities with a college that’s there for you? Contact Altierus Career College today!


[i] https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/may/28/us-job-losses-unemployment-coronavirus

[ii] https://blog.linkedin.com/2020/may/june/2/linkedins-2020-grad-s-guide-to-getting-hired

[iii] https://blog.linkedin.com/2020/may/june/2/linkedins-2020-grad-s-guide-to-getting-hired

[iv] https://blog.linkedin.com/2020/may/june/2/linkedins-2020-grad-s-guide-to-getting-hired

[v] https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/02/linkedin-6-skills-college-grads-need-to-land-post-coronavirus-jobs.html

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