If the employment market appears to make a turn for the worst, then why are there "hiring" signs throughout local businesses?
For many individuals, seeking employment during a time where the economy is at a downturn can become depressing, overwhelming and discouraging as companies are forced to downsize and tighten their budgets.
However, there is still hope for individuals seeking employment.
While searching for employment can be tedious during the best of times, one may consider using aggressive tactics, networking skills and job searching resources in times when the job market is competitive.
Here are some tips and tools that could be used by job seekers in a time of economic uncertainty:
Prepare yourself to be flexible. Considering a survival job to help make ends meet until the opportunity becomes available in your field of expertise.
The position could lead to new skills learned that could add to your marketability.
An example, a Marketing professional may consider taking a sales position in a retail store where skills in customer service, inventory control, etc will be learned. Also, consider a position offering a lower starting salary or requiring traveling from one location to another.
Begin your employment search by accessing several resources in order to inquire about employment opportunities available to you.
Utilize the Internet, newspapers, career counseling centers and employment agencies, personal contacts, malls and hotels.
Actively networking with organizations, clubs or attending social events in your area with individuals in the same line of work will increase the chances of your name coming up when others are contacted for potential candidates. Join social networking Web sites like linkedin.com and thenetworks.org.
Have an updated strong resume available; use action words to describe your skills in particular and avoid using nouns or verbs.
Post your resume on job search engines like monster.com and simplyhired.com.
Prepare for the interview process by knowing your own qualifications and how they relate to position you are applying for. Review all past achievements as it will allow you to feel comfortable in describing yourself during the interview.
Don't get discouraged if you don't hear immediately from an employer. Show your interest by writing a thank you note and following up with the employer after a couple of weeks.
At the end of the day, we could agree that searching for employment can be stressful and draining.
However, it's important to maintain a positive outlook on your future and continue to pursue employment opportunities you know you can do.
Marisol Rivera is the coordinator of Family Centers' Reaching Independence Through Employment Program. With offices in Greenwich, Stamford, Darien and New Canaan, Family Centers is a United Way, Community Fund of Darien and New Canaan Community Foundation partner agency that offers counseling and support programs for children, adults and families.
For information, call 203-869-4848 or visit www.familycenters.org.