Seven Tips for Job Searching While Unemployed
Being unemployed undoubtedly adds great stress to your life. Not only do you not have a reliable income but it can make you feel socially inferior since a lot of conversations revolve around the work day. Trying to stay positive while job searching seems like an impossible task, but it is crucial to successful job hunting. Here are seven tips to help you on your search for employment.
Keep your credentials current
If your career requires you to have a license or certificate, make sure you don't allow it to expire. One of the first questions I was always asked by human resources when they called to set up a job interview was if my license was current and when it expired. Add a reminder to your phone's calendar to help you remember expiration dates, and if you are in the health care field make sure your CPR and First-Aid certificates are current as well.
Be prepared to explain gaps in your resume
You're probably hoping that your potential employer will just let this go, and they might if the gap was years ago, but if you've currently been unemployed for a while be sure to have an explanation on hand to explain why. Did you take time off to care for your children or a sick family member? Did you take time off to focus on school or to travel? Or do you just live in an area without many job opportunities in your field? Some employers will be more understanding than others, but it's best to just be truthful with why you haven't been working.
Don't forget to add freelance or volunteer experience
Do you volunteer at an animal shelter on the weekends or spend your nights writing articles to submit to your favorite websites? Don't forget to put that on your resume. Employers want to know that you're motivated and can keep yourself busy, so add any extra work you do, even if you're not paid for it.
Widen your search to include neighboring cities
A long work commute is not ideal, but it may be necessary if you can't find any local opportunities for employment. Try broadening your search for up to two hours away, and if you're single, you could even considering moving to a new location. You can always try to get a position closer to home after you've gained some experience.
Prepare ahead for job interviews
Job interviews are stressful, and it's very overwhelming to get a phone call at 5pm for a job interview the following morning, so prepare in advance and spend a few minutes each day practicing your interview answers. The more prepared you are for the interview the more natural you'll sound.
Keep a schedule
Set aside a few hours each day to spend job hunting. Try to have the same start and end time every day. If you have a routine to follow, you'll have a better chance of being productive.
Take time for yourself
This is a very stressful time in your life, so make sure you are taking care of yourself. Eat healthy, workout, meditate, meet friends for dinner, or learn to play chess. Keep yourself busy, and remember that your situation is temporary.
Being unemployed is something that a lot of us go through at some point in our lives. It's unpleasant, but there is a lot you can do to make the time easier on yourself. I hope these tips are helpful for you.