The incessant “it’s the worse economy since the Great Depression… nobody’s hiring” drumbeat is unnerving. It’s also painfully inaccurate, but we’re in danger of doomsayer’s words becoming self-fulfilling prophecy.

The fear they’ve created is palpable. Even the rich are cutting back on spending. People who always thought their jobs were secure are suddenly wondering if the dreaded “pink slip” is waiting around the corner. Many of the newly unemployed think career happiness is no longer in their future. “I’ll do anything” and “there’s no point in looking” are the two new mantras.

Unprecedented numbers attend job fairs but most aren’t hired. They often rationalize “It’s because there’re no jobs…” or “I’m overqualified.” The truth is, from entry level to senior executive, they probably didn’t stand a chance the moment they handed the employer their résumé because they’re not prepared.

Employers wouldn’t attend job fairs if they weren’t hiring, but they’re looking for enthusiastic, fully-qualified people. They tell me the quality of applicants’ résumés is, to be kind, in need of improvement.

If you’re concerned about job security, or have recently been laid-off, it’s time to prove the doomsayers wrong. Here’s ammunition:

Be honest with yourself. You wouldn’t really “do anything,” would you? Would you hire someone who said that, or implied they can’t get a “better” job?

Have your résumé written by a professional. A “powerful marketing tool” will be the result. You’ll gain precious insight. Having a friend write your résumé, or using a résumé template, might seem cost-effective, but the reality is you lose out on interviews.

Evaluate your computer skills. The number of occupations not requiring at least a rudimentary knowledge of computer applications is almost non-existent. If you want to advance in your chosen field, good technical skills are mandatory. If yours are in need of improvement, take a class.

Consult a Career Expert. You can’t afford not to. Your family and friends simply aren’t equipped to give the advice and information you need to get back on the path to career happiness and financial security.

Identify your transferable skills. Even if you’ve worked at the same company for years, you have them. If your current skills aren’t sufficient, learn what specifically needs to be added.

Do your research. Your industry might be in decline, but others are more recession proof. Some industries are actually thriving. Thanks to American ingenuity and savvy Entrepreneurs, there are many jobs now that didn’t exist 5 or 10 years ago.

Learn how to conduct an effective Job Search. There are a variety of approaches you must take to effectively market yourself. Simply spending hours on the Internet every day is rarely productive.

Though your career isn’t your life, it does play a major role. Sure it probably won’t be easy, but your goals are always achievable, if you invest in yourself.

Author's Bio: 

From Graduating Students to CEO’s and Entrepreneurs, Judy Gillespie, founder of “Career Avenues by Judy,” provides a complete range of writing and professional development services for clients in a multitude of industries and occupations. Her professional memberships include Career Directors International, National Association of Résumé Writers, and the Professional Association of Résumé Writers & Career Coaches.

Judy is a “Cover Letters For Dummies” contributing author and teaches a “Secrets To Marketing Yourself” class at Florida Institute of Technology’s Women’s Business Center. She’s appeared on “Good Morning America” and provided résumé critiques and career counseling at GMA’s “Great American Job Fair.” Judy has received several writing and coaching awards and recognitions.

One of just over 100 people nationwide who have earned PARW/CC’s Professional Career Coach (CPCC) credential, Judy also has the industry standard setting Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW) and Employment Interview Professional (CEIP) national certifications. She’s a former Workshop Leader, Career Counselor, and Business Liaison for several federally funded workforce assistance programs on the East Coast and Assistant to the President of a Senior Executive search company.

In addition to being a Career Expert, Judy is a newspaper columnist, TV commentator, and professional speaker. She created, produced, and co-hosted “Beverly Life,” a television talk show. Prior to discovering the career she loves, Judy was a Corporate Human Resources Executive and a Small Business Manager in several industries. She has a degree in Business and is a Certified Paralegal, Notary Public, and Licensed Insurance Agent.

Strongly civic-minded, Judy is a member of “Florida Today’s” 2009 Citizens Advisory Panel. A former School Board member, “Dollars for Scholars” board member, and Family Services volunteer, she’s served in a number of leadership roles including initiating a Community Oriented Policing (C.O.P.) program, Taxpayer Association, and Scholarship Foundation. Judy’s a Certified Operation Lifesaver Presenter and an active Chamber of Commerce participant.