Today the typical unemployed worker has been jobless for 38 weeks versus 17 weeks before the recession. There’s a lot that needs to be done to bridge the gap and get America back to work. However, if you've found yourself in the unemployment line do not delay in getting it together because the risk of you becoming long-term unemployed (if you're not already) is greater than ever. Whether you've been unemployed for a short while or in the midst of long term unemployment these tips may help you get closer to reentering the workforce.
Target Your Search & Save Your Time.
Don't waste time applying for jobs you don't want or qualify for. It’s an employer’s market and many have more resumes than they can handle; it’s not the time to press your luck. If you looked at the job description and know you would hate to do what’s required, then give somebody else an opportunity to be miserable. Your lack of interest will show and back to the unemployment line you will go. I know it’s easier said than done with the stresses that come with being unemployed. However, finding a job takes time and energy; conserve it for opportunities worth your while. Remember quality versus quantity.
Keep track of all the jobs you apply for. You're probably required to do so if you're collecting unemployment anyway. While I was unemployed I created a spreadsheet that contained company names, position titles, login information with hyperlinks which made it much easier for me to follow up. Keep track of contact names and any communication received or sent. Tracking your progress will help keep you motivated.
Get Resume & Cover Letter Professionally Written.
If you’re not getting positive results at the very least get a second opinion on your resume. Ensure that you are representing yourself well. A bad resume or ineffective one is like bad PR and marketing. I know money may be tight, but this is one of those bare necessities if you think about how much money you could be making per day or per week if you had a job. Invest in yourself.
Hone Your Craft.
Remember a job isn't the only way to build your resume. Stay up on the latest information in your industry. Consider joining or becoming active in a professional organization. Perhaps you can earn a certification to increase your marketability in the meantime. Whatever you decide to do, keep yourself fresh with knowledge and avoid becoming like stale potato chips.
This is the time to put all your creative juices to play. Remember you can be your own boss too. And if you've started your own venture add that to your resume! It amazes me how many people leave out their self-employment experience. Show off your skills and knowledge!
Work and Manage Connections.
It’s easy to feel alienated from the workforce. Maximize your job search by staying connected with your network and getting to know people. Social media is a great tool to help you bridge the gap.
You will find the previous point difficult to accomplish without this. The law of attraction is real and people tend to stay clear of those who carry negative energy. They are not interested in your sob story so stop seeking pity. Instead celebrate small successes along the way. Your Facebook status shouldn't read, “Still haven’t gotten any call backs :(.” Instead, post something like, “I just found a great opportunity. So excited! :)” A positive attitude is a winning attitude and with that you are more likely to find others to cheer you on and connect you to opportunities along the way.
Remember you're in control of your attitude, not your circumstances. Stay fresh and crisp; no one likes flat soda and stale potato chips.