Finding a Job in a Tough Economy

(Or in any economy.)

You’ve probably heard the saying, “It’s not what you know – it’s who you know”, and to a certain extent I believe that’s the case. That’s not meant to be discouraging — you don’t have to know high-powered people in order to find a job.

But it does help immensely if you know someone (and all of us know people.)

It helps not because those someones can necessarily “get you a job”, but because the more people you know and ask regularly about potential job openings, the more likely you are to find out about the potential job openings in the first place. Don’t just ask them once either; ask at regular intervals so they don’t forget that you’re looking for a job.

Once you find out about an opening via someone you know, that person can (if appropriate) submit your name as a potential applicant. This gives you an advantage over someone just applying right off the street.

Which doesn’t mean that you should neglect applying off the street either. It takes some extra time, but it can pay to tailor your resume and cover letter specifically to the job you are applying to. Use the same keywords they do, and use details and action words when describing your experience and why you are a good fit for the job.


  • Bas

    No amount of experience can substitute for a good network in the corporate world. It may be a sad reflection on the state of business, but especially at the higher levels in corporate America (and across the world, I would reckon), it is oh so important to have an exceptional network.
    Spend some time each week, or at least once per month, to reach out to some coworkers who may work in a different department, a different location, or even a different region. Ask them about what they do, they will be happy to share with you, it’s flattering to be asked about what you do. These contacts can very well mean the difference between getting a position and being passed over.

  • That’s a good point to spend time networking regularly. That’s definitely important, and something I ought to be doing myself.