Being out of work takes a real toll on your confidence and emotional well-being. When you’re searching for a job while unemployed, it can be tough to convince yourself – let alone a potential employer – that you deserve the job.
If you’re struggling to find a job, remember that being unemployed doesn’t mean that you’re unqualified. It just means that you have to switch your tactics. These tips from PrideStaff will help you put your best foot forward while on the job hunt – by keeping the focus on your skills, not on your employment status:
Demonstrate your relevance. Employers want to hire people with up-to-date knowledge and skills. To catch their attention, reformat your resume so that it features the value you bring to the table: hard job skills, relevant work experience, measurable results achieved and industry knowledge. Make sure to incorporate the most recent terminology used in your field (i.e., keywords), so you pass the first screen by recruiters or resume parsing software.
Optimize your LinkedIn profile. Strike the right balance to let recruiters know you’re actively looking for work, without using the “u” word. Tweak your Headline (the most heavily weighted field in LinkedIn’s indexing scheme) to explain your value, while alluding to your job search. Update your Status, to let your network know that you’re looking for a job and could use their help. Finally, use your Summary to recap your skills and qualifications – and convey your interest I discussing new opportunities.
Be prepared to explain your resume gap. While you don’t want to feature the fact that you’re unemployed, you shouldn’t ignore the elephant in the room, either. In your cover letter, review briefly the reason you’re unemployed. Save a more detailed explanation for the interview. By addressing the situation up-front and honestly, you can control the recruiter’s first impression of you. And once you’ve addressed the issue, you can shift focus to where it ought to be – on your skills and experience.
Explain the upsides of being unemployed. Have you gone back to school to acquire new skills or pursue an advanced degree? Are you freelancing? Volunteering or working as an intern? If so, these endeavors might make you an even better candidate for the job you want. Be sure to point out the positives of your time away from work, if they exist, in your employer communications (cover letter, resume, social media profiles, interviews, etc.).
Need more help breaking the cycle of unemployment?
If you’re unemployed, PrideStaff can help you get back to work quickly. With offices nationwide, we offer a wide range of temporary, temp-to-hire and other transitional opportunities that can help you earn money, gain new skills and boost your confidence while you search for your next full-time job. Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to find out more about great local job opportunities.