How to find a job during a recession

Are you job hunting at the moment? You’re not alone. Maybe you were made redundant or just realised your current position isn’t what you expected. Even though the looming recession means the competition is high – this isn’t always a bad thing. It’s a chance to be positive, open, and pushes you to tap into your best skills, characteristics and experience.

Consider freelancing or temporary/part time positions

Keep your options open. Use this time to find potential ways of income and experience that might not be ideal, but could be the perfect stepping stone for something better in the future. You can also pursue interests that you may not have been able to in a full-time position.

For example, if you like sewing, painting, or generally creating – why not set up an Etsy page to sell your creations? If you’re a fitness fanatic, start up a YouTube channel to share your workout advice or consider going down a personal trainer route.


If you use your best skills and your time wisely, you never know what prospects might arise. A temporary, freelance or part-time job could become permanent, or you could network with some great people that lead you to your next opportunity.

Add value to your CV, LinkedIn & experience

Do a thorough review of your CV and see if there are any areas that could enrich or improve your value as an employee. Do you have any volunteering experience, or relevant qualifications and accreditations?

If not, why not look into avenues that will help fill the gaps in your skills and experience? It looks great to employers if you’ve been proactive in improving yourself whilst you look for work - not to mention the bonuses extra skills can give you in the workplace and in your personal life. 

Look into growth and recession-proof industries

There may be less vacancies, but companies still are hiring. Some industries are actually thriving in the midst of the pandemic. Think technology, online media, gaming, social media, and food delivery services. Netflix has been having a great time as the population collectively hunkered down to watch Tiger King.

The technology sector has made the most of new ways of working and connecting with friends and family. There’s also many opportunities for A.I to prosper with the big uplift in people living and working digitally.

Do your research into growing and emerging industries and determine which of those are likely to continue to thrive post-pandemic. There’s a good chance they’re looking for some promising new staff members.

Be prepared for any interview scenario

Interview formats are changing. The trusty phone interview will likely be staying put, but many once face-to-face meetings are now taking place online, using services like Zoom, Skype and Microsoft Teams. Even though you probably wont need to worry about what kind of shoes you're wearing, there's new presentation aspects to consider when you're behind your webcam:

  • The background - what's behind you? Ensure your backdrop looks professional. So clear out the clutter, position yourself in front of a blank wall or use a pre-made background if this is available on your chosen video calling programme. 
  • The lighting - make sure you're positioned somewhere with natural light but not too much glare. 
  • Your presentation - even though it's likely your interviewers will only see the top half of you, wear your normal interview attire and look sharp and presentable. 
  • External noises and distractions -  if you have a private room or quiet space at home, set yourself up there for your interview. Some distractions are unavoidable, but try your best to get away from things that might interrupt your meeting. Think pets, kids, road noise, neighbours, etc.
  • Sound, internet and camera quality - bad sound, internet or camera quality can throw you off your game, and could put off potential employers. Invest in some decent equipment. It'll be worth it in the long run! 

There's also a chance that some of the interview process will take place physically. If this is the case, ensure the business and yourself are following guidelines and taking the proper precautions to keep everyone safe and protected. 

Tailor your resume to each job

It may seem easy to fire off as many applications as is humanly possible with a generic CV and cover letter, but quality is better than quantity. It’s best to tailor your documents to each position, even if it’s just changing small aspects every time.

Many employers have software that search for specific keywords or buzzwords. Make sure you are covering those by comparing and matching your CV and cover letter to the job specification before sending.

A positive mindset is the way forward when applying and interviewing for jobs. Chances are, it might take you longer than normal to find a job in the current climate. So being patient is key. As you’re navigating the choppy waters of a recession – don’t lose sight of your eventual career goals. 

Professional Academy offer Marketing, Management and Sales courses and apprenticeships that will help improve your employability and future-proof your career. Learn more about our courses via the links below, or get in touch with our friendly qualifications advice team if you have any questions about studying with us.