In this job search Q&A, I answer Michael’s question: What are tips for job search in a down economy if I’ve been out for a while?
This is really a two-part question: 1) job search in a down market; an 2) job search when you’ve been out for a while.
Regarding job search in a down economy, this means that employers are going to be pickier about who they hire. So job seekers in a down market need to be even more competitive to attract employers. Employers are looking for reasons to keep you out, so you have to make an even stronger case about why you should be hired.
Regarding job search when you have been out of work, what employers fear is that your skills, expertise and/or network will be out of date. You need to focus on what you’ve been doing during your unemployment to show this won’t be the case — volunteer work, consulting projects, activity with a professional associate, attending a class.
Put these two things together and you’ll see that an out-of-work job seeker in a down market has to even more assertively emphasize that being unemployed doesn’t mean being unqualified or out of date. You have to make an even more passionate, compelling case that your activity while you were out is relevant to the job you are looking for.