Many economic experts are saying we may actually have escaped falling into a recession: “The Case for a Recession is Crumbling.” And: “Dude, Where’s My Recession?

Yet many people STILL are finding it hard to land a new job, especially if they are unemployed.

If you’re wondering, you may be thinking: “What gives? I’ve been looking for weeks/months and I still haven’t found work!”

First, we want you to know, you’re not alone: here at Debbie’s Staffing we’re helping many people find work when their own efforts are lagging. We witness their pain and frustration daily and we’re beyond eager to help them land great positions.

Yet there are definite reasons you are having a hard time. Here are some of them.

  • Mixed signals in the jobs report.

Even though the “case” for a recession may be crumbling, some people disagree. The BLS’ June jobs report “contained a pivotal number that may well raise the first convincing statistical signpost that the U.S. economy has made the turn and is heading for a recession.”

Employers added just 209,000 jobs in June, about 100,000 less than those added in May (306,000). The June report also was less than economists’ expectations: they had forecast a net gain of 225,000 jobs.

In short: job growth IS slowing.

And that could well be one reason why you’re having a hard time finding a position.

While the number of jobs in June increased, it also was the smallest increase since December 2020, raising concerns about the sustainability of a robust job market. This type of uncertainty often makes companies more cautious in deciding if and when they should hire: they often postpone filling empty jobs and often take a “wait and see” attitude to hiring in general. This then can lead to a challenging job search for many.

  • Businesses also have become more risk-averse.

Despite positive economic indicators, the lingering effects of the pandemic paired with economic uncertainty makes it much riskier to hire someone for newly-created positions and/or to replace departing workers. Companies tend to take much more cautious tack on growth.

  • Shifting dynamics in a candidate-driven market.

Economic downturns change the “power dynamic” between job seeker and employer. Sometimes dramatically. More candidates than positions mean employers can be highly selective in their hiring decisions. In fact, employers often “look down” at unemployed individuals during recessions. This makes little sense as even very good employees are let go during economic downturns.

Still, this “if you’re unemployed you’re a second-class candidate” persists. It’s not right. It’s tough. And it’s real. Anticipate it and you have a better chance of overcoming it.

Adapting to the current job market

To increase your chances of finding employment, understand the changing dynamics and adjust your approach accordingly.

  • Tailor your job applications.

That is, create a resume – and even a cover letter – for each position to which you apply. In other words, don’t send the same resume/cover letter to each job. They always should be different. Use ChatGPT to do so. This artificial intelligence tool is a game changer for applicants. You can create a completely different resume/cover letter for each job easily and quickly.

To make it even easier for you, take a look at our recent post that explains step-by-step how to create a resume using ChatGPT.

  • Network strategically.

Networking remains an essential job search tactic. It’s even more so in a job market slowdown because employers know that the best candidates often appear as referrals from their current employees. (After all, great people know other great people.) Focus on building connections withing your industry and attend relevant events/virtual conferences. Also take advantage of online platforms such as LinkedIn to engage with professionals in your sector and expand your network.

  • Enhance your skills.

Investing in upskilling/reskilling lets you acquire new skills that help you compete with others when it comes to emerging job trends. Consider online courses, certifications or workshops that will help you stay competitive while broadening your skill set. Another perk of upskilling? You demonstrate a commitment to personal growth, which makes you a more attractive candidate to practically every employer.

  • Flexibility is key.

Employers tend to have specific requirements or constraints and they tend to pay attention to them more when they have the upper hand. This means employers may hire more temporary associates as they know they can let them go quickly if they need to should the economy sour. But many employers also end up hiring the talent they use in temporary positions. At the least, you’ll have work – and income – coming in while you continue searching for a more “permanent” position.

We urge your to be open to temporary, contract and even freelance opportunities. Such experiences can provide valuable connections while enhancing your resume and potentially leading to full-time employment.

Take a look at Debbie’s Staffing’s current job opportunities and apply, or contact the branch nearest you to register with them. Don’t worry if you don’t see a position at that branch that meets your needs: we often fill positions with our registered candidates long before we ever place those positions on our job board.