Past Issues

June 27, 2011

How to Stay Busy While Unemployed

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How to Stay Busy While Unemployed

By Monster, Online Careers and Recruitment Resources

Although there is some solace in the fact that frequent corporate downsizing, international relocation and reorganization are the norm in today's world, regardless of whether you have been unemployed for one month or one year you may begin to feel like damaged goods.

And, clouding every interview that you attend is the dreaded question about why you have been unemployed for so long. But relax. The tips below will show you how you can, with the right approach, minimize prospective employer doubts and maximize your chances of getting re-hired.

Keep your skills up to date

When you have been out of work for a prolonged period of time, you need to work harder at your job search than someone who is still employed, which means that you need to find ways of improving your employment value.

Keep yourself updated with the latest trends and developments in your industry by reading trade journals, taking a career-related course and attending industry events and conferences. Get out there and mix with others in your industry and always carry a fresh set of networking business cards with you to pass out.

Get your name out there

Remember that not all jobs are advertised in the conventional way. Tap into the hidden job market and target the companies that you would like to work at.

Tell friends and ex-colleagues that you are looking for work and ask if they know of any companies that employ people with your skills. Networking and word-of-mouth is your biggest promotional tool - so use it to the maximum.

Online networking also has its benefits, especially if you can create a blog, writing about the industry in which you work. Position yourself as a specialist and join other online discussions and forums in your industry. This will show potential employers your expertise and put you in contact with people you may have otherwise not come across.

Providing articles for trade publications, or volunteering as a speaker at an industry seminar will also have a good effect.

Consultancy work

Unfortunately, your financial outgoings don't stop when your final salary does. But before you tap into your savings, consider marketing the skills and experience you fine-tuned when you were employed.

Let your former clients and business contacts know that you are available for consultancy and freelance projects. Many employers may consider hiring you on a temp project because there is low risk and no long term commitment. Consider voluntary work that will help fill the gaps on your resume. This not only keeps your skills updated, it also demonstrates your proactive approach and determination to find work. Volunteering or an internship can often open up new career opportunities.

If you can demonstrate to employers that you have been doing everything you can to find work and to keep your skills and knowledge up to date, most will overlook the fact that you are currently unemployed.

Always remain positive - rejections are part of life. Each 'no' that you get moves you closer to that all-important 'yes, you're hired!'.

Monster is the leading provider of online careers and recruitment resources committed to connecting organizations with individuals. For individuals thinking about a new job, new career, or a new direction, Monster helps you explore the possibilities and find the opportunities that are right for you.

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