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If you are looking for a new consulting job in the current recession market, you need to be prepared to sell your consulting skills harder than ever. Even though many firms will turn to consultants for tips on reducing spending, your prospective employers will have very specific skills in mind when reviewing job applications. The two most important questions your consulting CV needs to address are, how you can help the recruiter's organisation make money and how you can help it save money. If your resume does not reflect these abilities, you will likely be looking for a new job longer than you expect.
Before firing off your resume in a hundred directions, ask yourself how the consulting firms would benefit from hiring you and what you could do to move their business forward. When revising your resume or preparing for a job interview, focus on the results you have achieved and the benefits your company gained from your accomplishments. Be ready to show the recruiters how your performance can be an asset to their businesses.
In a normal market, consulting firms cast their nets pretty wide when looking for new employees. In the recession market, they will only hire consultants who have the skills they absolutely need; the skills that will solve very real problems and add real value to their business. For this reason, instead of tailoring your resume to all the open positions you find, your time will be better spent finding the job opportunities and niches in which you can demonstrate your strengths and experience. The better the fit between you and the job, the more likely you are to secure an interview.
Explore all the application channels thoroughly for opportunities: consulting firms' websites, recruitment agencies, jobs advertised in print and on job boards. Register with unemployment agencies. Inform all your friends and colleagues that you are looking for a new job. Do not hesitate to approach your business contacts to inquire about any open positions at their firms. Search the web for businesses in your niche that are currently hiring. Swap leads with other consultants who are also looking for a new job. Cold call company recruiters to ask about vacancies. The more opportunities you create for yourself, the sooner you will be invited for your next job interview.
Do not limit your job search to your specific niche. Instead, think about your transferable skills and research industries that are performing well even in the recession. Sectors that are more recession-proof are more likely to hire new candidates. Focus on those sectors in which your skills can help employers significantly cut costs or make profits.
Once you have identified the consulting opportunities best suited to your skills, revise your CV for each of the positions you will be applying for. If your job hunt ends up being longer than planned, try and find training courses that will improve upon your existing skills and use this to beef up your CV. This will show any prospective employers that you take an active interest in your career even when you are unemployed. The worst thing you can do at a job interview is leave the recruiter with the impression that you have let yourself go.
Finally, instead of waiting for company recruiters to start calling you back, consider becoming independent. In the recession, businesses are less likely to commit to a permanent hire when a contract consultant, who costs them less, can reduce their costs just as efficiently.
And remember: Even in the recession market, there are many job opportunities that call for your skills. A successful job hunt is only a matter of finding them.
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