If you’ve found yourself between jobs and you’re wondering what you should be doing in order to land your next great opportunity, look no further! Being unemployed can be stressful and one of the best things you can do to combat that stress is to create a plan, take action, and be persistent. It’s important to stay busy and productive because this will increase your visibility and networking opportunities. Whatever you do, don’t sit at home mindlessly applying to jobs online—this is a path that leads to nowhere! Instead, follow these 4 tips to increase the chances that the gap on your resume will be a short one:
1. Work Your Job Search like a Job
In order for a job search to be successful, it has to have three things: intention, value, and consistency. The first step is defining your intentions and this means knowing what you’re good at and what you’re looking for. Secondly, have a clear understanding of how you can add value to an organization—and be able to articulate this on your resume and in person. Finally, be consistent. You can’t send in a resume to a few connections and sit back and wait; similarly you also shouldn’t apply to 40 jobs online and then go radio silent for two weeks (and then be disappointed when you don’t have any leads). A successful job search requires work every day.
2. Pursue Volunteer or Consulting Work
Gaps in work history are challenging to overcome and they make employers very nervous. If you have one, make sure you can talk about it in a way that will alleviate concerns. And if you can avoid gaps altogether, even better! Volunteer and consulting work are fantastic ways to fill in gaps. Just because you didn’t bring home a paycheck for your work, doesn’t mean you weren’t working! If you volunteered (even once), created a website for a relative, or did your friends’ taxes, this is an opportunity to fill a gap on your resume.
3. Learn Something New
Take any opportunity you can to learn new skills, gain certifications or designations, and grow your marketability. Whether it’s improving your Photoshop skills or earning a specific license, there is no better time than now. Can’t afford to take a formal class? There’s an online forum or YouTube tutorial for just about any skill you can imagine. Do your research to find out what skills are most highly sought after for your target career opportunities and before you know it, you’ll be adding an extra line on your resume.
4. Be Social
When you’re in the job market, it’s especially important that you put yourself out there! Everyone you meet is a potential lead for a job. Our CEO once started a conversation with a woman in line at the grocery store and ended up helping her get a job, so you never know where your next great lead may turn up! Try to be as social and outgoing as possible. Join networking groups and get in the habit of quickly explaining your strengths.
Happy Job Hunting!
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