How to Get Your Dream Job in a Slow Economy

How to Get Your Dream Job in a Slow Economy

By Hendrik Pohl
Updated: 5/16/13

Does the slow economy leave you worried about finding a new job? Don’t despair! Even in a slow economy there are plenty of good jobs available, and with the right preparation you will make yourself stand out from your competition. Below are 7 tips that will get you closer to your dream job.

Research the industries that interest you. Find all the companies in your geographic location that currently have positions that you think you would qualify for. This doesn’t only mean open positions. The initial goal is to fill the “funnel” with as many companies that you could see yourself working for. Don’t be too picky. The more companies the better. Organize those companies in a way that will make it easy for you to keep a good overview. An excel spreadsheet will do just fine. Find each companies’ contact information and simply call them up. Your goal is to find out who is in charge of hiring for the department that you are interested in. Finding out this information might take a few phone calls, but keep in mind that the harder it is, the more likely your competition won’t do this.

Making Contact
Once you completed your spreadsheet with the information you need, including the hiring manager’s phone number and e-mail address, it is time to start prospecting. The best way to do this is by working all communication channels. Send in a your resume by mail with a targeted cover letter. Then follow up with a phone call to ensure that the resume was received. The goal is to start the conversation with the hiring manager. Be polite and don’t be too pushy. Simply sell yourself!

It’s a numbers game.
The more times you do the steps above the better. It is simply a numbers game. Take your time to customize each cover letter and send in plenty of resumes. The more the better!

Ask for action
Be proactive in your job search. Follow up with your targeted companies and learn more about their possible hiring time frame. Once you know their sense of urgency, there is nothing wrong with asking for action. If you know that company XYZ is planning on filling your position within the next 4 weeks, then it is quite acceptable to ask for an interview falling in this time frame. Once again, don’t be too pushy. The following might be a good example how to ask for your face to face interview: “Mr. or Mrs. (hiring manager name here) from your previous e-mail you mentioned that you are planning on filling the (position’s title) position by the end of this month. Is this time frame still accurate” If the answer is yes, then simply ask for your interview by saying something like this: “Well, that is great. I have been narrowing down my job search, and I am most excited about your company. I would really enjoy the opportunity to learn more about your business. Do you think you might be available next week for a brief meeting?” Simply give this a try and you will be surprised about how well it is perceived. If you owned a business, wouldn’t you want employees that are passionate about your business and take initiative to get the job done?

Dress Right For Your Job Interview
As a general rule, it is better to overdress than showing up too casual. Keep your attire on the professional, and slightly conservative side. Unless you are applying for a job that is related to the fashion industry keep your outfit to a classy 2-piece, charcoal gray business suit, plain white dress shirt, and classic business tie. The best necktie colors for this purpose are dark blue and burgundy red. Stay away from too trendy neckties such as pink, orange, and lime green. Although they are quite fashionable, they might be perceived as too flashy.

Body Language
First impressions are usually made within the first 3 seconds of meeting someone. That’s why the right attire and body language is so crucial for your job interview. If you start the interview on a good note, you will have won half the battle. Have a good handshake, make good eye contact, and smile when appropriate. Be confident but not arrogant!

The Right Follow-Up
Few people take the effort to write a Thank-You note these days. If you really want to stand out from the competition write a handwritten note to the manager you interviewed with. If you prefer to write e-mail, then address the e-mail to the person you interviewed with and copy all other decision makers onto this same e-mail. Thank him/her for taking some time out of his/her busy schedule to meet with you. It will guaranteed leave a good impression, and it will increase your chances to get called back for a second or final interview.

If you follow the tips above you are on the right track to get your dream job. The key is to practice this process. Don’t beat yourself up over rejections, but keep a positive attitude: Every NO will get you closer to the YES.

Hendrik Pohl is the owner and founder of