Recession-proof your job search

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There’s a lot of advice in the media on how to recession-proof your career and hold on to your job.

If you think your job is at all at risk, you should be looking for alternatives. As the job market tightens, it becomes more important than ever to have the right approach when you are job hunting.

Here are ten tips for a successful online job search. Use them to search for jobs more effectively and increase your odds of getting hired.

1. Choose Job Sites Carefully
Jobs are listed on thousands of different websites, so be selective about which ones you use. As a comprehensive search engine for jobs, Indeed.com will help you find specialized job boards or employer career sites that fit your interests. It will also save you time and steer you to jobs you won’t otherwise find.

2. Refine Your Job Search
Search using keywords and add more terms to narrow your search. Don’t forget to specify your location; your zip code normally works fine. Most job sites also have an Advanced Search so you can narrow your results using, for example, a particular company name, job title, or commuting distance.

3. Set up Email Job Alerts
Save your searches to receive daily or weekly email alerts including new jobs matching your criteria. You can also save your searches as an RSS job feed using any reader. This will help you apply for jobs as soon as they are posted, making it more likely employers will notice you.

4. Keep it Focused!
Only apply to jobs you are qualified for. Companies notice candidates with the skills and experience they’re looking for. If you don’t have these, your resume will be ignored.

5. Watch Out for Scam Job Listings
Be careful if you see job listings promising quick and easy income, or requiring a fee or your social security number in order to apply – they’re likely to be scams.

6. Write a Customized Cover Letter
A well-written cover letter that is customized to the company or individual recipient shows you are serious. Try to show how your qualifications and experience relate to the company’s needs.

7. Post Your Resume
Posting your resume to job boards helps companies find you online. Bear in mind that anyone may be able to see it, including your current employer. Most job sites give you the option of posting anonymously, although companies may then be less likely to contact you.

8. Clean Up Your Act
Check your resume and cover letters for typos and grammatical errors. Use consistent font sizes and formatting in your resume. Potential employers may look at any online profile of yours, so keep them up-to-date and free of content that would embarrass you.

9. Do Your Research
Spend time on the company’s website and learn as much as you can about the firm’s products and services. Read up on company news and trends in the industry – use sites like Wikipedia and ZoomInfo and look at Job Trends. Find out who is interviewing and Google their names to learn about them. If you know anyone who works at a company you are applying to, try to speak with them first for advice.

10. Know Your Salary
Once companies are ready to make you an offer, they’re likely to discuss your salary needs. If you’re armed with objective salary information, you’ll be in a better position to negotiate. Try Indeed’s Salary Search.