Due to the prolonged low price of oil, Alberta is on track for its second year of a recession, which will amount to cuts in investment and employment in many sectors, according to ATB financial. There are some estimates that say the provincial economy will be contracting by .5 percent in 2016, which follows a 1 percent decrease in 2015.

A recession like this hasn’t been seen in the province since 1982-1983, but, it’s not all bad news. The Canadian dollar has shown some recent strength, rallying back to .77c, the WTI is above $40.00, Canadian inflation has slowed to just 1.7%, and there is a planned meeting of OPEC countries to discuss an output freeze on April 17th. This shows there is some reason to be optimistic about the future of the Albertan economy.

However, right now, the fact remains that we are in a recession, and there must be some adaptation to the new normal that is our current low-oil price economy, which is why we’ve compiled this list of tips to better serve our fellow Calgarians, Edmontonians, and Albertans on their search for a new career.

1. Tailor your resume and cover letter to the position you’re applying for. When searching for a new job, there’s a desire to send out as many job applications as you can, hoping that one of them bites. However, the much better method is to be methodical, specific, and directed with your job search. Learn about the companies you want to work with, find out who works there, how you should present your resume, and send a personal cover letter. The shotgun method may make you feel like you’re out there looking for work, but in reality, it’s doing more harm than good.

2. Find the right company, not the right job. Like #1, the goal should be finding a company that you want to work with, and tailoring your application towards that company. You’ll be sure to stand out from the pack with this method. Once you have found the right company, then you can start building a plan of ‘attack,’ so to speak. You need to show your future employer that you are capable of long-term strategy development, self-starting, research, planning, and long-term goal setting. You need to confidently communicate that you want this position at this company. 

3. Look for companies that are thriving. In an economy like Alberta, there are businesses that are adapting to this new-normal and making it work to their advantage. These are the companies that you want to work with. If you worked in Oil & Gas, this may be an opportunity to try something new. This is where working for companies, not industries, and finding the right one to work with, plays in.

4. Remember: your resume and cover letter is a self-marketing tool, not a biography of your life. Provide valuable information that piques the recruiters interest. It’s recommend that you spend 3-4 hours per application on your resume, writing it more like a proposal, than a description of your past work experiences. Recruiters want to see how your skills can benefit them. The key is to make all your skills, employment history, and hobbies relevant to the position you’re applying for.

5. Make everything perfect. The little things matter. Make sure you have someone double and triple check that everything in your resume was grammatically correct and that there were no spelling errors. According to a study by Job Dig, a small typo is the number one biggest recruitment turn off.

6. In this day and age of Social Media, make sure your online presence is free from any clear blemishes. This is becoming more and more of an issue as we dive deeper into the lives of our Social Media personas. Take some time to google yourself and see what comes up, then correct anything you think may reflect poorly on you. You’ll be surprised what type of stuff you (and more importantly, recruiters) can find with just one search.

Hope this helps you in your search for the perfect job! Good luck out there!