Looking for Your Next Role During an Economic Downturn?

By: Mike Cashion, MFF Director of Operations

May 13, 2020


The job market is becoming tight and competitive. As of May 8, 2020, 20.5 million people in the U.S. have filed for unemployment. This means that 14.7% of the U.S. population is currently unemployed. In New Hampshire, the unemployment rate was below 3% just ten weeks ago. The COVID-19 pandemic will have a long-term impact on the job market. This is true even after the fear and concern surrounding the sickness passes. If you are or will be looking for work in the next 12-24 months, you will need to get creative and find ways to stand out.

Recently, we sat down for a Zoom Q&A with Peter Morgan, who started Morgan Franklin Fellowship. We started with a conversation around the pandemic and the economy. Then the conversation transitioned to advice for young people who will be entering the workforce or looking for work during the economic downturn. Peter thought for a moment and responded with the following: “Students often ask me how they should break into an industry or get a job with a particular organization. My advice has always been to seek out the person that you would like to work with and offer to take on number 14 on their to-do list. They will never get to it. This person will likely focus on the top 5 items on their list. Tell them if it is on your list, give it to me. I can move the ball forward on this and prove myself.”

When you are looking for and applying for jobs, you are always thinking, “What’s in it for me?” Now is the time to change your thinking and ask yourself, “What’s in it for the other person?” If they have 100 applicants for a job, how is your resume going to stand out? What if you were to do something that makes their life easier, adds value and demonstrates your willingness to show your expertise, resourcefulness, creativity and hustle? Completing a project that is tangible will bring you much further than a resume. A resume paints a picture of what you have done in the past. Unfortunately, it tells little about how you are going to add value to this person and their organization.

Other things to consider are who do you know and who do they know? Relationships matter! Work your network! Reach out to your friends, classmates, alumni, coaches, professors, prior managers, and family. Let them know what you are looking for and how you add value. Most people would much rather receive a strong recommendation for a new hire vs the lengthy process of sifting through a stack of resumes from people with an unconfirmed track record. If you get a strong referral, it also shows the hiring manager that you are resourceful enough to connect with the right people and that you show the value you bring to the table. Remember to think through the lens of “what’s in it for them.”

Now is the time to take on an entrepreneurial mindset in your job search. Get creative–look for unique opportunities to showcase your value to hiring managers and decision makers. Leaders want people who are going to make a big impact on their organization. Times are going to get tough! Hiring managers need people who are problem solvers. Organizations need people who are going to hustle. How are you going to stand out? 

Join us at Morgan Franklin Fellowship where we provide extensive learning opportunities and access to our network of alumni and business professionals. Learn more here: https://morganfranklinfellowship.com/programs/

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