4 Must-do to land a job in a tough time!

Time is tough these days if you are out of a job. My job is a manager for a job portal in Hong Kong. I have seen our web site’s job searching traffic and online job application skyrocketing as the Hong Kong’s Heng Seng Index plummeted starting at the end of 2007. Many job seekers asked me for advice to how to find jobs. There are many good advices to locate the jobs but what’s more important is that the job seeker must be internally ready for a tougher and leaner job environment. More people will be fighting for the rare jobs in the market. Landing a job means a tougher selection process. Landing a job means that you are more competitive and ready!


How to be competitive and ready many job seekers asked?


In a nutshell, you have to find yourself some meaningful and demonstrable projects to do which you will be able to leverage them to maintain and even improve your state of readiness.


Yes it’s quite obvious. There is no quick fix except for the “presentation” part.


Be More Knowledgeable – This is on the top of my list because knowledge cannot be “increased” by simply one day or one week. You must be constantly upgrading yourself. Take on a course. Go back to University. Go to public seminars. Take a MBA. Take a doctorial degree. Event writing a book or contributing to community for social working will give you knowledge and insight for personal growth.


  1. Be Tough – Tough time won’t last but tough people do! Employers are looking for top talents these days. They know they have the upper hand and have the choice to select the top talents. And time is NOT pressing for them. If they hire someone or open up a new headcount, they are looking for talents and not just a pair of hands. They are looking for someone who can seriously create and contribute to business. They are looking for someone who can contribute and create value to business even in tough time. So we job seeker must demonstrate that we have the mental toughness to be able to stand top even in the toughest condition. Now we must tell ourselves we are this kind of people. We must believe in ourselves that we can create and contribute in the toughest environment. And we need to be glowing with such confident and commitment to be the last one to stand in the battle field. How to show this? Of course you need to have the right presentation and the body language. Dress up rather than dress down. Look up rather than look down. Smile instead of grumble. Embrace instead of blaming. Demonstrate that you have been active in between jobs. You have invest your time in learning back to school, doing social works, researching for a demonstrable project, writing a book and so forth. Do these sounds familiar? Yes they were just mentioned in the last paragraph. If you have the will to value add for yourself, you are building up your confident and commitment to be ready! Have faith and believe. Do more exercise! They can seriously help you to build your physical and mental strength!

  2. Be Easy – Yes we need to be tough but we should not let the current challenge turn us into sour cream or a very rough piece of rock. Employer (and rightfully yourself) should worry about taking on someone over-adjusting himself and becoming a misfit to the team. Demonstrate that you have not just taken the current challenging time as an opportunity to grow and learn but also an experience to enlighten your depth. Look into people’s eyes confidently but not staring to make them uncomfortable. Smile instead of looking too much like Rumble. Demonstrate you have the ability to understand and embrace others instead of blaming others. You really also need this to balance yourself.

  3. Be Ready – First you go back to the last 3 paragraphs and ask have you started doing those things. If you think you have already embarked or even complete certain projects, then you should prepare your “presentation” so that if some call you for an interview, you can just pick up the pack and go in 30 mins. Get your resume ready. Get your show-and-tell slides ready.

    Do video and voice rehearsal ready. Get your friend to drill you on some interview rehearsal and prepare to do Q&A. If there is one thing I recommend for the best interview tips is that you do your video rehearsal. It will force you to really see yourself and all the rough edges you need to publish.

  4. Be there – Last but not least! This last point is very important especially for those of you who think you are already rather be competitive and ready. Just go out and promote yourself. Make sure you are active and show up to others. Don’t just hide in a corner and do your exercises or study. Do it in public! Go to seminar. Discuss things on social web sites or forum. Meet people at the right places. Networking is one of the best method to find a job because you are really showing off your competitiveness and readiness in front of other people who may be your potential employer or your angel who refer you to your ultimate employer.

Start today and don't delay. I wish you all the best but if do you so accordingly you don't need my prayer.

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