One of the defining characteristics of an economic downturn is that there are people who are not comfortable at all with searching for a job competing for the few jobs that are available.  As such, the skills that are needed when the economy is doing well are different that those useful skills that help you get through in the case of emergency.  Many people who are, for the first time in what might be decades, beginning their employment search, tips that can make the transition less painful than it currently is are very much appreciated.
Even when the economy is plugging right along, there are circumstances where you may find yourself looking for a job when you might had thought you were one with employment searches.  Tips that emphasize services that you have to buy into or give excessive amounts of personal information to are not the only (or even the best) way to go about your employment search.
Tips that encourage you to really, fully and honestly analyze your motivations for working as well as the sort of work that really inspires and motivates you, are those that are most valuable in a real job search.  Often this is most easily accomplished by making a series of lists that outline just what you’re expecting from a job and your requirements.  It is also good to make a list of things you might be willing to compromise upon, such as a benefit package or location.  Knowing just what you want is half the battle sometimes.
Other handy employment search tips that can make the difference between taking the first even mildly suitable job that comes along and reinventing yourself in an even better position include creating your own job and “pitching” it to prospective employers that may not have even advertised for help.  If you’ve correctly analyzed the situation and can provide a service that you can demonstrate the potential employer needs, you’ve got a good chance of creating your own job where one didn’t even exist before.  Being as flexible as possible is also valuable in such situations, as is having
One of the best pieces of advice is to being several months in advance if you’re given any advance warning at all.  Typically employment search tips recommend at least six-months lead time if at all possible.  You may very well need that entire time and more during a particularly persistent and unfortunate economic downturn in your particular sector or throughout several sectors, as resource crunches often cause.
By selling your skills and presenting yourself as someone who fixes problems, rather than just looking for a job, you’ll outshine the competition rather than blending in with them.