Job Search Strategies for a Challenging Economy

Published: Mar 12, 2009

PRNewswire-- Monogrammed stationery. Rolodexes filled with business cards. The Sunday want ads. These, like many job search tools, have given way to the modern "must haves," according to Megan Slabinski, executive director of The Creative Group, a specialized staffing service placing creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals.

"Because of the recession, many people may be launching their first job hunt in a long time," Slabinski noted. "Although the fundamental task of reaching out to potential employers and making a positive impression hasn't changed, the tools are different. Job seekers who have a firm understanding of how to best promote themselves in this type of environment have an edge."

Following are job-hunting tactics that are "in" and "out," according to The Creative Group:

Overly detailed resumesStreamlined resumes that list relevant accomplishments
An "objective" on resumesA "summary of qualifications" that highlights applicable skills
Blanketing local employers with your resume and cover letters addressed "To whom it may concern" Researching prospective employers and applying to companies where your skills and interests match their needs
Stilted language in application materials (e.g., "Please find my resume attached in response to the job posting...")More natural prose that provides a sense of your personality (e.g., "When I learned about the position, I was excited by the ...")
"Canned" responses to interview questions (e.g., "My weakness is that I work too hard...")Authentic responses that provide insight into your thought processes and how you can contribute to the company
A set reference listA customized reference list for each opportunity
General elevator pitchesPitching your contacts so they'll provide you with recommendations on LinkedIn
Networking occasionallyNetworking constantly using tools such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, as well as in person
Using unusual resume formats to hide employment gapsFilling potential gaps through volunteer or freelance work
A narrow focus in your job search A broad view of how your skills might be useful in various roles
Ending the interview by asking when they'll be contacting youEnding the interview by asking for the job on a trial basis
Post-interview thank-you notes that tell the interviewer how much you want the jobPost-interview thank-you notes that provide more insight into why you are the best person for the job

"Applicants need to put themselves in the shoes of hiring managers and address the potential employer's pain points," Slabinski said. "Stand-out candidates create customized application materials that specifically describe how they can help the company with its needs and challenges."

About The Creative Group

The Creative Group specializes in placing a range of highly skilled creative, advertising, marketing and web professionals with a variety of firms on a project and full-time basis. The Creative Group's internal account managers typically have prior experience working within the creative industry, which helps them better understand their clients' needs and their freelancers' unique talents. Headquartered in Menlo Park, Calif., the firm has offices in major markets across the United States and in Canada. More information, including online job-hunting services, candidate portfolios and The Creative Group's award-winning career magazine, can be found at


Back to news