MORE ON CAREERADDICT

How To Find A Job When You Are Unemployed

job search
deposit photos

Unemployment remains ubiquitous in the United States and millions of people are suffering from long-term joblessness. Despite the Federal Reserve reaching or at least nearing its inflation and unemployment levels, the labor force participation rate is at a 36-year low, and it doesn’t appear to be improving anytime soon.

The U.S. unemployment rate stands at just over six percent, but some experts claim that if the job data was calculated in the same it was by bureaucrats during the Great Depression then that figure would be in the late-teens, early-20s. No matter how one calculates it, joblessness is an issue for households across the country.

In addition, there are some interesting variables to consider when analyzing joblessness in the U.S.: 40 percent of the unemployed are millennials, the long-term unemployment rate is between two and three percent and within the next couple of years there will be more people not in the labor force than there is.


More than 40 percent of unemployed job seekers have been out of work for six months or longer,” said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder, in an interview with Forbes. “There’s a sense that such a long gap on a résumé negatively affects a candidate’s chances, but the survey shows that is not true. That’s very positive news for this group of job seekers. If you fill the gaps with activities and experience that illustrate how you are still developing your skill sets, the overwhelming majority of employers will look past your unemployment and focus on what you can bring to their team.

Being out of work is indeed a depressing time because money is not coming in, the standard of living diminishes and one’s self-esteem deteriorates. However, the unemployed must endure and be persistent when seeking out employment opportunities. Here are seven tips on how to find a job when you are unemployed.

Resume

Despite thousands of resume templates, word processing programs with spell and grammar checkers and the numerous articles available on the web, out of work individuals are still making errors producing a resume. Whether it’s making typos, lying about previous work experience or leaving it three-quarters empty, hiring managers are tossing aside resumes because of these mistakes.

Just to be noticed by human resources, you must write a resume that is aesthetically pleasing, mistake-free, honest and relevant – it would be suffice to say that a lot of job applicants send the same generic resume to each position they apply for, which shouldn’t be done.

Procrastination

It’s Thursday and you have just lost your job. Instead of considering it a three-day weekend, take the Friday to search for jobs in your area. Sure, it’s possible that the hiring manager won’t take a look at your resume on Friday at 4:30 p.m., but studies have shown that job applicants should apply for jobs late Sunday evenings and early Monday mornings to be the first to show up in the boss’s inbox.

In other words, don’t procrastinate or delay. Be active in your job search and you’ll succeed.

Skills

If you have been the victim of long-term unemployment then think about updating your skills. In today’s changing global economy and business landscape, your skills have to match. It takes more than just knowing how to navigate a web browser, inserting formulas into Microsoft Excel and updating social media accounts.

Take your free time to research what skills are in high demand and peruse through educational institutions’ list of continuing education programs. Who knows? You may find a brand new career.

Preparation

Many out of work applicants haven’t had an interview in months, and this leaves them out of practice when time comes for an interview. Prepare yourself by practicing for an interview with one of your friends, family members or ex-colleagues. The best way to practice is to communicate well, be knowledgeable about your field and understand directions.

Human touch

Sure, there are thousands of job ads on Monster, Craig’s List, Workopolis and Indeed, and you should apply to jobs through these venues. However, nothing ever beats the personal, human touch. If you haven’t had any luck applying to the 120 jobs online then think about heading over to the company and speak with whoever is in charge about your resume.

Here’s a suggestion: spend an entire workday handing in your resume in person to a list of companies hiring.

Appearance

When depression hits us, we tend to neglect our appearance. This means we refrain from getting a haircut, clipping our nails and washing our clothes. If you are fortunate to get an interview, you want to look the part and portray yourself to fit in with the company culture. Rather than looking like you just spent a month touring the Sahara Desert, get a haircut, trim your nails, wear professional attire and brighten your smile.

job search
job search

Freelance

Instead of playing the waiting game at home, think about starting your own business or partake in the world of freelancing. The latter is becoming one of the most popular career routes so start applying your skills – writing, editing, graphic designing, administration – and start building your clientele. Also, this shows future companies that you’re determined, organized and career oriented.

The best outlets for freelancers are Elance, oDesk and Freelancer.

Nobody ever wants to be unemployed, but it’s a fact of life. It’s important to not give up and to simply get back up on that horse. With hard work, dedication and a little bit of luck, you’ll head back to the 9 to 5 lifestyle in no time.

See also: How To Find A Job Tips and Advices

Have you been unemployed before? Tell us your experience in the comment section.