There are many reasons for unemployment and most of them are out of the employees’ control. Sure, termination may occur due to poor productivity, but in most cases the company downsizes, outsources or must cut back in some way due to changes in the economy or consumer habits.

Unemployment is a scary thing. It’s the ultimate unknown. Candidates waste no time getting back out there, trying to find a new opportunity, but that can take time. Many job seekers feel highly discouraged when a job search during unemployment goes on longer than planned. Sometimes you feel as if your whole life, not just your career, has derailed.

First and foremost, you must recognize your own worth if you want others to see it. Do not let a long job search during unemployment get you down. You have to stay positive and stay focused. Here are four ways to keep your job search alive and upbeat when you’re facing long-term unemployment.

Revamp your resume

Take a critical look at your resume. Does it really tell your professional story? More importantly, does it connect with the opportunity at hand? Check out the company’s mission statement and insert their keywords into your resume and cover letter. Update your skills to emphasize those listed in the job description. Be honest, but be targeted. Grab and hold on to their attention by being the best match.

Don’t deny the gaps

Do you have some employment gaps that need addressing? Don’t pretend they don’t exist. In your cover letter, address both the gaps and explain that, though unemployed, you were active during this time. Even though that bookstore retail job doesn’t really apply to your experience as a developer, you should still include it on your resume. Working these kinds of jobs isn’t a blight; it means you are determined, hard working and committed to your priorities. If the position doesn’t require a cover letter, be proactive. Email or mail an explanation to the HR manager, the department chair or the workplace supervisor.

Get back in touch with your network

Remember Bob from the manufacturing department? Where is he now? What about the friends you made from the manufacturing plant you started out at all those years ago? A network of positive referrals could be your ticket to a full-time career. Make time in your job search for networking. Give them a call or shoot them a message on social media. Find out what opportunities they have caught wind of and ask them to keep your name in mind if anything new comes up

Partner with a recruiter

If your opportunities are drying up, consider contacting a recruiter. Staffing agencies have great resources to help you land your next job. These qualified professionals can help you with resume writing, interviewing and, most importantly, making connections. Because of their tight client relationships, staffing firms have access to hidden opportunities.

If you’re looking for a new opportunity, give TxMQ Staffing a call. We’re deeply rooted in Western New York, but we also have proven success placing contract employees and permanent hires across the U.S.

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