Around 57% of organizations view employee retention as being a problem. Whether it’s due to a poor company culture or a bad fit, you may find yourself without a job for a substantial amount of time. For a highly qualified and proactive professional, being unemployed for even a short time can be tough. But if you’ve been struggling with long-term unemployment, you may become increasingly frustrated and disheartened — especially because having a gap in your resume might raise some eyebrows. The good news is that there are several things you can do to increase your chances of making a great impression and landing the employment opportunity of your dreams.
Revamp your resume
If you’ve been out of work for a significant period or you’re making a total career change, you may need to perform some updates to your resume. Writing a CV can be difficult for anyone, and if you feel self-conscious about the gaps in your resume or don’t know how to describe your experiences on paper, don’t hesitate to ask for help. You may even want to consider working with someone who can make your resume stand out for the right reasons with contemporary aesthetic changes.
Hone your skills
When you haven’t been working for some time, your pertinent skills may fall by the wayside. There may even be requirements you’ve never seen before in a field you were extremely familiar with in the past. One of the best things you can do is to take an online course or at least educate yourself on the latest software or skills you might need. Even if you don’t become an expert, it will show recruiting agencies and employers that you’re taking the initiative to improve and make yourself a more attractive candidate.
Work with a staffing company
It may behoove you to work with a recruiter during this time, as they will have your best interests at heart. Staffing agencies can help match a candidate with an employment opportunity that may not be readily available on the most popular job listing websites or through other resources. Best of all, a recruiter can work with you to tailor your approach and resume to appeal to a business’s needs and ethos.
Be honest and enthusiastic
Although it may be a bit uncomfortable to talk about your long-term unemployment, it is important to be upfront with your staffing company and potential employer. You don’t have to provide a long-winded explanation, but giving a reason for your employment gaps (e.g., raising a family, going back to school, traveling, illness, etc.) can make the process much more personal — and that can work in your favor. Above all else, show that you have a positive attitude and do your research to show your interest in the company and what they do.
Explore temp jobs
Not having a full-time job can be extremely difficult, but you may find success with a different type of employment opportunity: temp jobs. A temporary position can help you get your foot in the door with a certain industry or company, which can allow you to network or gain additional skills that can make you a real asset to any employer in the future. While it may not provide for a long-term, steady income with one business, it can still be a financially feasible option that makes sense for you.
Although being unemployed for a long period isn’t fun, there are ways to take control of your own destiny. By working with a recruiter, boosting your resume and skill set, and keeping an open mind, you can make yourself that much more desirable to employers and find the job you’ve always wanted.