How to land a job in a tough economy

The workforce and even the nature of work itself is changing at an incredible pace

While Australia is blessed with a relatively low unemployment rate, it doesn't mean that finding a job is easy.

Even when the economy is performing well, getting a job can be a challenge. In Australia's two-speed economy, some industries that employ relatively few people are hiring regularly while others that have traditionally generated lots of jobs are struggling. If you're hitting a brick wall in your job search, it's worth considering the following strategies:

1. Retrain

The days of a job – or even a career – for life are long gone. Technological change, in particular the disruptive effect the internet is having on many industries, means the workforce and even the nature of work itself is changing at an incredible pace. If you're having trouble finding employment, it may be because there's no longer any demand for your skill set and you need to develop another one. Acquiring new skills at TAFE NSW is a good way to do that.

2. Promote yourself

At the very least, you should have a well-written and extensive LinkedIn profile. Ideally, you should also have your own personal website that features your résumé and, if possible, a portfolio of your previous work. Chances are there will be a number of applicants for any job you apply for and you want to sell yourself more effectively than your competitors.

3. Consider giving yourself a job

One of the upsides to technological change is that it has made it a lot easier for anyone with a phone and computer to become a freelancer or contractor. They can then sell blocks of their time to different clients rather than having to convince someone to employ them on a full-time basis. This approach isn't feasible for everyone, but if it's for you then you should seriously consider it. You may find you enjoy working like this and, if you don't, you're at least establishing relationships with people who can potentially offer you a full-time position.

4. Network

Go to industry events, offer to intern and ask friends and family if they know anyone who'd be willing to give you a try. The more people who know you're looking for a job, the more likely you are to get an offer.

Looking for a job can be disheartening, and potential employers can sense despair. So no matter what setbacks you encounter, always remember to remain positive.