Job searching in a down turn

Posted by Angela Waddell

It's not easy looking for a job at the moment, but fear not, the job market is NOT dead. There are still companies and industries that are in growth mode and are therefore still hiring.

While the level of competition may be higher than ‘normal’, you need to ask yourself, are you giving yourself the best chance to land a new position?  

Many job seekers approach looking for a job like winning Lotto, they apply for a role online and then hope for the best.  

Here are some tips we would like to share if you’re on the hunt for a new role in this current climate… 

Be like Batman - make yourself visible

The first thing is to ensure people can actually find you.  

Have you loaded your CV onto Seek Talent and Scout?  Is your profile set-up and up-to-date on LinkedIn? And crucially, are you active and engaging on LinkedIn, commenting and liking others posts and adding your own content.

If you put yourself out there, people will notice you. As the old saying goes, “it's not what you know, it’s who you know”.

It’s not enough to just be using these channels though.  It’s important to have a great CV that has the right keywords, so when employers and recruiters are searching for talent like you, they can find you.  

Be Proactive - extend your tribe!

One of the keys to success when looking for a job is to be proactive.  

Speak to old contacts, reach out to companies that interest you and get advice from trusted mentors and supporters.  Treat your job search like a project in itself.  Have a plan, then execute tasks along the way to get you to the desired outcome.  

Reach out and amazing things can happen.  The worst outcome  is that someone does not reply, or advises they don’t have any opportunities. 

Be Prepared - first impressions count

When you apply for jobs, make sure you follow up with a phone call if you can.  If you do, make sure you create a great first impression. 

This involves keeping track of the roles you are applying for and why you are applying for that position. It is frightening how many times I contact someone regarding a job they applied for and for the first 5-10 mins of the call the applicant is working out what the role was that they applied for.  

This is not a great first impression.  

Being prepared then flows into your interviews.  Careers NZ have some great advice on being ready for interview.  In addition, think about some compelling questions that will help you decide whether this is the right for business for you, such as;

  • What is the vision for your organisation? 

  • Are you a purpose-led business, if so, what is that purpose? 

  • How do you see this role playing a part in delivering to the vision and purpose? 

  • What are the core values in your organisation and how are they recognised and used across the organisation to bring the culture to life?  

Be Positive - “we become what we think” (Emily Nightingale)

Of course there will be frustrations, moments of defeat, moments of hope and disappointment.  

Try to stay positive, things will get better and as mentioned, there are jobs out there.  A potential employee is looking for a positive attitude and if you show your frustrations, or desperation, this doesn’t help your cause.  

The key is to surround yourself with your trusted network. People that believe in you, but also give you feedback on what you need to work on to put your best foot forward.  

Ultimately, you need to believe in yourself!

Be proactive, be visible, be prepared and be positive.  

It’s tough out there searching for a job.  There are lots of people you can turn to for help and advice.  We at Sprout truly believe in humans -- reach out to others and amazing things can happen.  

Angela is a co-founder at Sprout and passionate about seeing individuals reach their potential and businesses be purpose led.  Angela can be reached on 


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