Were you kicked out of your last job, or did you quit by choice? And now you are looking for new opportunities after being unemployed for a long time.
Surely, finding a job after a long break can cost you a lot of effort and time. Your work gap will be highlighted in your resume, and many hiring managers will want to know why you didn’t work for months.
This will impact your chances of getting hired. But with the right job search tips and strategy, you can land your dream job quicker.
This article covers essential tips to find a job after long-term unemployment and the consequences of being unemployed for the long term.
How Long is Too Long Being Unemployed?
There isn’t any fixed period defining how long it is too long to be unemployed. However, it’s no big deal if you have been unemployed for three months to six months because it usually takes this much time to land a job. But if you are unemployed for more than six months or a year, you need to increase your job search efforts to get a job quickly.
How to Get a Job After Long-term Unemployment
Returning to the job market after being long-term unemployed can affect your chances of hearing back from employers. Some employers understand employment gaps and contact job seekers without considering it a negative gesture.
Again, some recruiters don’t mind employment gaps and are interested in knowing how the job candidate spent the unemployment period.
However, when job seekers seek new job opportunities after being long-term unemployed, they must follow a proper approach to save time. Here are a few steps to follow to get a job after long-term unemployment.
1. Develop your skills
If you have been unemployed for a long time, the recruiters might look for people with higher qualifications and a new skill set. So, you can utilize your time to look for jobs and gain new skills in the meanwhile.
For example, you can enroll in an online course and get certified during your unemployment period.
If you are unaware of the current in-demand skills related to your field, you can talk to your friends, family members, or former colleagues and ask them to help you. This will positively impact your prospective employer. You can also highlight your new skills and certification in your resume.
2. Make new contacts
The key to landing a job or job interview faster is through networking. You can build a robust professional network and ask your contacts to refer you to their companies. You can also get information about new job openings by attending career fairs.
Alternatively, you can volunteer for nonprofits to establish new business contacts. Some nonprofit organizations may hire you for a paid position after completing the volunteer work.
You can also visit coworking centers in-person to connect with new professionals and check if their firms have openings.
3. Have Your Job Materials Ready
Before starting your job search, you must prepare your resume and cover letter. These are the first documents any company demands and will define your personality in front of your employer. So, prepare a strong resume and cover letter during your unemployment period.
Also, explain your reason for unemployment within the cover letter and resume. In these documents, you can highlight the experiences that helped you during your unemployment phase.
4. Invest in education
It is essential to keep learning new skills to get better opportunities. You can visit your local library or take an online course related to subjects of your interest. You can even join low-cost classes run by community centers to upgrade your skill set.
Another method to boost your chances of getting hired is by taking professional certification courses. These certifications can be highlighted on your resume and impress hiring managers.
Tips for Finding a Job After Long-term Unemployment
You need to have a positive attitude while searching for employment after being unemployed for an extended period. However, the following few quick tips will help you get hired quickly after long-term unemployment.
Apply for jobs that you are qualified for
You may come across several job openings. But instead of applying to each opportunity, narrow down your search to browse and apply to jobs you are interested in.
Also, read the job description and requirements to see if you are eligible for the position. If so, send your job application. Otherwise, look for other opportunities.
Attend Job Fairs and Networking Events
One of the best ways to get a job quickly is through career fairs and networking events. You can attend events in your city and see which organizations have job openings. You can also connect with professionals in your industry at such events and ask them to refer you to their companies.
Create a Strong Resume and Cover Letter
Hiring managers will get to know that you were unemployed for a long period through your resume and cover letter. So, you need to focus on creating a strong resume and properly explain the reason for the employment gap.
Give honest answers about your unemployment during the interview, and don’t try to fake anything. Show your self-worth to the employer. You can also highlight some certifications you learned while unemployed.
Practice your Interviewing Skills
Cracking interviews after being long-term unemployed is challenging. The employers may ask you several questions about your job and the reason for unemployment. So, you will have to prepare to appear for the in-person interview.
Also, polish your interview skills before visiting the company. Learn the basic etiquettes to follow at interviews and dress appropriately. Don’t maintain self-doubt about being unemployed.
Be positive and focus on giving a proper explanation to your recruiter. You can also tell a story to your employers during interviews.
Again, if you talk about your past employer, don’t criticize him.
Research Companies That You Are Interested in
Before applying for positions, search for organizations you are interested in. If these organizations have openings of your interest, apply to them first. This way, you won’t have to settle for a position you aren’t interested in.
Again, you can research the company and its culture by browsing its social media pages and website. Finally, only apply for positions in which you are interested.
Utilize Job Search Engines and Job Boards
Most people can get a new role by searching for positions online, like job boards and search engines. These portals let you browse for opportunities based on your interest and experience.
So, you can use online portals to connect with employers, find freelance work, and apply to new jobs worldwide. For example, you can use sites like Naukri, Indeed, Monster, Robert Half, etc.
Take a Class or Become Certified in new technology
Learning new skills is always helpful for every job seeker. So, during your long-term unemployment phase, utilize this time to learn new technology.
You can take online or offline classes and highlight these certifications on your resume or cover letter. Ask your friends to suggest the in-demand skills if you don’t know what to learn.