Finding a job in tough economic times

Posted by Becky Gulden

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - It's day 10 of our segment 20 days, 20 ways to survive the economy and today we're talking about unemployment and finding a job.

Unemployment rates are up across the country, including here locally.  The unemployment rate is up 2 percent in both North Carolina and Charlotte from last year.

With so many people out of work, it makes finding a job that much harder.  You are now competing with more people than you normally would.

Finding a new job takes a lot of planning, hard work, and even a little flexibility.

You may have to move into a different field of work.  Some of the big jobs that were popular once before are now fading.

Heating and cooling, healthcare, alternative energy, welding and construction are all jobs that are growing.

"Welding program of course is applicable to various different industries including energy and road including buildings good are to be in. Good construction managers really needed regardless of the economy booming or if it's down. Those are the people who bring projects on budget and on schedule," said Jay Potter, the Campus Dean at CPCC.

Many people are going back to school to change careers.  If you can't afford to go back there are some other basic things you can do to put yourself ahead of the competition in the job hunt.

First, put together a resume which showcases your skills and abilities.

A good resume tells who you are, what kind of position you are looking for, your skills and accomplishments, your education, and your work experience.

One important tip always describe your skills with an action verb because they convey a sense of energy.  Use words like acted, advised, improved, performed.

Second, let people around you know you're looking for a job.  Networking and making contacts can lead to jobs.

Other good job sources: the internet, newspapers, staffing agencies, and job fairs.

Third, practice your interviewing skills so you're prepared when you do meet with that potential employer.

"DO" show up on time, dress professionally, maintain good eye contact.

Bring extra resumes!

Have a list of references on a separate sheet.

Bring a portfolio with examples of your work.

And be prepared to ask questions.

Denise Dwight Smith the director of the career center at UNC-Charlotte has more advice in a live report which aired on WBTV News This Morning.