If you believe everything you read in the papers then any job seeker should spend their time looking at changing their career altogether or signing on rather than actively looking to fulfill their career aspirations.
Will there ever be a time when there are no live job openings in London? No.
Is there any point in looking for work when you never know if the next “safe” employer is going to be affected by the credit crunch too? Yes of course!
Does the global economy mean that everything you have worked long and hard towards is worthless? Of course not.
I have been a cocktail waitress, in sales, radio dj, holiday activity counsellor, administrator, receptionist and, having spent the bulk of my career in recruitment (a job which I feel truly passionate about) I am not about to change track as this is the industry I choose to be in.
Recessions will always make the job market tough but everyone could see this coming. If anything it will make companies change for the better in the long term. People will be appreciated for the work they have done and companies will recognize this when looking at new recruits for their business.
I have worked in extremely testing periods and can see the value of keeping busy rather than letting that gap on the cv grow bigger. Living in London isn’t cheap and surely working is better than not working at all.
The best tactic is to focus on what you want long term however consider seriously working on the short term (i.e. temp or freelance) as this will broaden your experience, highlight your versatility and enable you to build contacts along the way. It may even be a good time to do some unpaid work experience (it doesn’t matter how old or experienced you are) to get a feel of working in a different environment. Voluntary work in a charitable organisation is also extremely fulfilling.
Keep your cv concise and clear. Probably 2 sides of A4 max however if you wish to highlight several recent roles then you could stretch to 3 pages but be aware that if a potential employer cannot see very clearly the keywords he wants to see, then he may move on swiftly to the next cv which has less experience but is just easier on the eye. This is important in a market where there will be many more applicants for each job.
Be realistic as you may have to apply for many more jobs than a year ago, in order to secure an interview and if you are working with a consultant ask them for honest feedback every step of the way.
Keep abreast of what is happening in the news, who is doing what in the industries you apply for, there is nothing worse than having an interview with someone who says they want to work in your industry, knows nothing about the industry but would like to find out more. The economy is changing and employers want to be sure you know about their business and their competitors.
And finally if you are still lost for time and not too squeamish but keen to do a good deed in 2009, The National Blood Service are desperate for blood donations in London. For your local centre look at https://my.blood.co.uk/