Being unemployed or underemployed is no fun. I have found myself in both categories. Those were some of the most miserable times of life. There is financial worry, personal doubts and overall great uncertainty. You worry how will you pay the bills, am I doing something wrong or am I not a good candidate? I pondered all of these thoughts during these times of tribulation. I want to offer three ways on how you can stay strong during the very tiring process of job hunting.
1) Rework Your Resume
Your resume is essentially you on paper. It should highlight your experience, skills and goals. There are a variety of resume formats and templates out there. Choose one that best fits your unique situation. There resume formats specifically for freshly graduated students and seasoned professionals. They are available on many common office software programs such as Microsoft Word and Google Docs.
Be sure to customize your resume for each type of position you apply for. I know that sounds tedious (and it is) but it is well worth it. Fine details such as correct keywords and proper grammar pay dividends in making your resume stands out. Employers want to see that you are genuinely interested and are willing to put in effort. If you are a multimedia professional applying for a copy writing position, you would highlight different skills than say you were applying for a videographer position. Ask for help from more experienced professionals and keep trying different formats.
2) Learn New Skills
If you are like me, you may find yourself getting pretty bored with your schedule. Especially if you are a goals-oriented person, unemployment is a nightmare. However, learning some new skills is a great way to utilize the spare time. Take continuing education class at your community college, volunteer at civic organization or maybe turn that hobby into a side gig. Any such route keeps you productive and moving forward.
It is easy to get stagnant or defeated during these times. Don’t do either. You do not have to just wither away. Grow stronger and better by personally and professionally developing yourself. If there is one thing I’ve learned in life is that opportunity often comes at seemingly the least opportune time. I learned some very valuable skills that led to future employment during times I didn’t have anything except my hobbies and personal studies. I’m not special and the same can happen for you. In addition, taking these actions can also lead to my last tip.
3) Expand Your Network
You have probably heard this one many times before. However, it is crucial for your career success. Attend professional meetings in your community or join a club related to your field. Any venue which can allow you to introduce yourself personally to employers is helpful. Stay on the lookout for events such as job fairs, where employers are coming to you.
Many cities have state career centers (aka unemployment offices) where you can stay in the loop on available jobs as well as network and learn new skills. It is tempting to retreat inward when you facing times of unemployment. It feels embarrassing and you don’t want anyone to know. You have nothing to be ashamed of. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment for American adults is currently around 4%. This means 6.5 million American adults are in the same boat. The good news is, there are things you can do to jump ship.
I know the struggle is real. It gets really tough out there. I believe you’re tougher. Go out and show the world that. Apply these tips and add some of your own. Please feel free to share some with me for me to highlight in future blogs on the subject. Take care friends and stay in the hunt.
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” ~ Booker T. Washington
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