Finding A Job In A Down Economy

Unemployment has been on the rise in recent months. If you are among the thousands of people seeking work, it’s important not to give up hope. As you conduct your search, the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants (NJSCPA) advises that there are many ways to improve your prospects and ensure that you present yourself as the best person for the job:

Reach Out to Your Contacts
Employment professionals advise that networking with a few people who know you and your skills can be much more effective than sending out stacks of resumes to strangers. Begin by making a list of people who might be able to help you in your search: former colleagues or employers as well as friends, family members and neighbors who might have great contacts. Send each one a personal note or arrange a meeting. Tell them you are looking for new opportunities, and explain exactly what you’re seeking. Ask if they know any companies or professionals you should contact.


Look for Support and Ideas
The isolation from the workplace can be a tough part of any job loss, and it can also prevent you from finding a new position. Stay in touch with former colleagues or with other contacts in the same field. Socialize with them as often as possible in order to keep current with the marketplace and maintain your own good spirits. Whether they have a job or are looking themselves, these professionals can be a valuable sounding board and information source.

Do the Research
When you land an interview, make sure you’re prepared prior to the meeting. Use resources in your local library, such as corporate information guides, annual reports and business publications, as well as the organization’s own website, to learn everything you can about the company.

Make Your Case in the Interview
Once you know the company’s background, consider how you should best market yourself to this employer. No matter what else is discussed in the interview, your potential employer is seeking answers to a couple of basic questions: Why should I hire you? What’s in it for the company? As you go to the interview, think about the answers to these questions. Be prepared to explain how your past experience fits with this organization and how the company can benefit from having someone with your skills and background.

Don’t Get Scammed
Many people fail to follow their better judgment when they are anxious to find work, and unfortunately, find themselves taken advantage of by employment scams. Most legitimate organizations do not require job applicants to pay for a work opportunity or for information about openings. Scammers in particular try to sell unsuspecting job hunters information about federal or postal service jobs. According to the Federal Trade Commission, these agencies never charge application or information fees. A scammer may even try to sell you a brochure that supposedly contains job listings or test questions for government exams. The information in these booklets may be incorrect or useless. You can find legitimate information at, the official job site of the federal government, or at

For more information on various personal financial matters, visit the NJSCPA’s public service website at While visiting, you can subscribe to Your Money Matters, the NJSCPA’s free, monthly email newsletter to receive valuable personal financial planning advice throughout the year.

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