The unemployment rate in the U.S. is close to 10 percent. The News is chock full of stories about organizations downsizing and suggestions for surviving these “tough economic times.”

Finding a Great Job in a Recession

It’s not all bad news however. Even during these times, many firms are still hiring in large numbers.

As part of their restructuring, these companies lay off non-performing workers and create openings for new talent that’s eager to work hard and produce results.

These firms are looking for people who can:

  • Help in increasing revenue
  • Help in cutting down costs
  • Bring in value to the company

So how do you uncover these jobs? How do portray yourself as the Must-Have employee?

1. Polish your brand and make it shine.

You are a branded product. Your skills, your ethics, your experiences are unique to you alone. You have to get an employer to see your value, the proof of your worth.

“How do I do that?” you ask.

  • Learn new skills or become expert in your current skills.
  • Write a killer resume and cover letter. This will be your first communication with the employer and it is the most important. It is what will determine whether you will be called for the interview.
  • Market yourself online. If companies can market their brands online, why shouldn’t you? Many people have personal web pages. Consider promoting your skills and achievements through a web page or blog, to show that you are an expert in your field. You can showcase: Reports you have made, Websites you have designed, articles you have written, etc.

2. Use the power of networking.

Facebook. MySpace. Twitter. LinkedIn. These social networking sites and applications can help you reach out and get leads.

The simple fact is a large number of open jobs are not advertised. Word of mouth is an avenue you shouldn’t overlook. Don’t wait for jobs to come to you; let your network know what you are looking for and you stand a better chance of hearing about unadvertised jobs.

3. Lower your expectations.

During these tough times, companies lower their expectations around salary and benefits. You must be willing to lower your expectations as well.

  • Be willing to accept lower pay and reduced benefits. Maybe you can negotiate in other areas like hours in the office versus hours working from home. Just remember the expectation is that you are adding value, not just putting in time for a paycheck.
  • Take freelance and part-time jobs. If you value flexibility in your schedule, these may end up being much better than full time jobs.

Job hunting during a recession doesn’t have to be painful or fear-inspiring. Just keep in mind that when the economy is uncertain, employers want to hire the best people.

High demands + Low value = Unemployed
Realistic demands + High value = Hired