Be Ready for New Career Opportunities

While the severity of the current downturn has been a surprise, equally surprising is the state of denial we see from many people about how tough it really is and how much tougher it will get before the economy improves.

We at Diamond Staffing Solutions have been baffled by the number of candidates who refuse to consider potential new career opportunities or who don’t have a current resume to send to us right away. Many positions we fill for jewelry clients are time-sensitive, and we’ve seen candidates miss opportunities because they couldn’t provide a current resume or waited too long to give us one. The most common excuses are: “I never needed a resume before” and “I don’t have time to update my resume.” In this economic climate, candidates need to be prepared for anything. Consider the following tips.

  1. Always keep your resume updated, and always have several with you. This is especially important when traveling for business and attending trade shows, seminars, and other industry events. You never know who you’ll be sitting next to on a plane, in a meeting, or at a cocktail party. In addition, always have with you a digital version on disk.

  2. Be loyal, but be prepared. We’ve seen candidates lose out on career opportunities because they were “happy where they are” and “not ready to make a move.” Loyalty to an employer is admirable, but in a tough market, companies can file for bankruptcy, close stores, restructure, cut staff, or be acquired with little or no warning. Everyone should keep their options open and at least consider opportunities that arise. So far this year we’ve had more than 100 calls from past candidates who were not interested when we presented them with a great career opportunity but have since been laid off.

  3. Don’t wait for a call. Some candidates apparently believe they’ll hear from jewelers “who have heard they’re in the market for a job.” They won’t.

  4. No matter what, always be courteous. It’s amazing how rude some candidates are to us. We understand they may not be able to talk when we call; we’re trained to work around such situations and keep our searches confidential. They need only tell us they’re busy and provide a cell phone number and a time to call. Being rude to the recruiter won’t help them when the recruiter reports back to clients with top candidate selections. And even if a candidate isn’t interested in what’s available now, it makes no sense to burn bridges, because there may be appropriate opportunities later. Build relationships with recruiters; help us and we will help you.

  5. Remember: It’s easier to get a job when you have a job. It’s an adage but it’s true. If you start hearing rumors about layoffs or you get other signals that your position, department, or the company itself is in jeopardy, start looking for a new position immediately. Don’t depend on longevity or seniority. We’ve heard from numerous industry veterans with 25—30 years of experience (most or all with one employer) who never dreamed they would be laid off yet are now out of a job.

  6. Lower your expectations—to start. The luxury of multiple job offers is over for at least a year or so. A job seeker may have to take a position for which she’s overqualified or agree to a smaller salary than before. She may have to relocate or accept a longer commute. However, although it’s an employer’s market, candidates are still in charge of their own career destinies. It’s up to new hires to prove themselves to a new employer. Top performers are always at a premium, and they tend to move up quickly in terms of money and responsibility, regardless of the state of the market.