An economic recession can be a tough time to look for a job, though thankfully not tougher than an economic depression. It is something HR experts say to plan for because recessions pop up regularly and it’s only a matter of time until the next one. Knowing how to find a job quickly during a recession would be helpful to everyone: newly graduated, recently laid-off, those coming out of retirement, and more. It is also helpful because no one (not even economists) can say specifically how long a recession will last. Here are some tips on searching for a job in a weak market.


First, be sure to prioritize your effort toward opportunities you are most likely to land. Some may prefer an even wider “shotgun approach” (applying to as many jobs as possible) but HR experts say you will only be hurting yourself by wasting your own time. Why? Because companies and recruiters during a recession will already be even more selective of new hires (if they’re hiring at all) and will send poor submissions straight to the trash can.


You may consider changing the industry in which you work, where applicable, to an industry where hiring typically stays steady even during a recession. These industries include but are not limited to: healthcare, energy, security, and teaching. Whether you are pursuing jobs within your current industry or a new one, be sure to utilize whatever contacts you have in your professional network. A former supervisor, a current colleague, or an executive for whom you did an internship could all know of some employment opportunities that may not have gone public yet or might be right for you.


It will be vital to start practicing your elevator pitches and practicing how to answer the most popular/typical interview questions because if you want to get a new job at some point you are going to take part in an interview. It is becoming more and more standard nowadays that candidates actually have to go through multiple interviews before landing a new position.


Many job seekers team up with a recruiting/staffing agency to make their job search as efficient and fast as possible. Staffing agencies have many contacts across a specific geographic area or industry (and sometimes both) so that candidates they are placing basically have their foot in the door already. Another fantastic benefit is that staffing agencies can search for you in parallel while you search or even while you’re sleeping!