In Part 1 of "It's a Dry Powder Market," I introduced the dry powder theory. The dry powder theory is an investment term used to describe tactics investors employ during an economic recession where they maintain a very liquid amount of assets that are quickly available to adjust to the turbulent market. Companies keep cash (the most liquid of assets) in their bank accounts and reserves to account for the volatile market. And because talent is the most expensive form of capital, companies forgo hiring permanent employees and opt for other strategies like work redistribution and the hiring of interns and contract and temporary employees.

Temporary and contract employees are extremely liquid. Here today and gone tomorrow. Companies opt to pay larger contract or hourly rates of pay rewarding these type of employees for the risk associated with a temporary position. Companies can quickly eliminate this type of overhead without costly severance plans, benefit payments, and guilt associated with layoffs and corporate restructures.

A large number of companies are employing this type of hiring in 2010 just in case. A candidate can compete in a Dry Powder Job Market not just against other candidates but also the economy by considering the following:
  • Demonstrate Value. It's no secret the job market is extremely competitive. A job seeker must be on their game and demonstrate during every opportunity that they are the best investment a company can make. This starts with your online presence and LinkedIn profile. Companies want to see how your experience and success can translate into revenues for their company. Focus on quantitative figures and numbers when describing your responsibilities and projects.
  • Be Aggressive. Bring your A Game at every opportunity. Companies have access to hundreds of high quality candidates. Use testimonials and references to get your foot in the door. Don't wait for your interview. Connect with company representatives from the moment you know there is an opening but with great care. Consider your strategy and competition in everything you do.
  • Be Creative. A simple resume and cover letter is no longer enough. Consider coming with a marketing pitch, an idea to promote their product, and presentation to lower their expenses and increase efficiency. Give them an idea or solution they can't live without. Look to your professional network to seek ideas and recommendations outside of your market or industry. Creativity matters.
**Look for Part 3 of "Dry Powder Market" discussing market strategies and one job seekers aggressive move that got a company's attention.

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