How to Address Long-Term Unemployment in Your Job Search

How to Address Long-Term Unemployment in Your Job Search
From Recruiter - July 22, 2017

If youve been unemployed for a long stretchsay, six months or morethe job search may feel like a fruitless endeavor. However, with the economy improving and more and more jobs being created every month, opportunity really does exist. Its just a matter of learning to position yourself to grab that brass ring.

If youve been out of work for a while now, there are some simple tweaks you can maketo your resume, to your cover letter, and to your expectationsto increase your chances of landing the job you want. Here are eight tips to help you:

1. Be Honest

Honesty is the best policy for several reasons, not the least of which is that the stress of trying to hide a big gap on your resume can take its toll and affect your performance in job interviews.

Our advice? Lay your cards on the table. Mention in your cover letter that youve had an employment gap and briefly explain the reason why. There is no need to get too personal or go into great detail. Simply acknowledge that you experienced a layoff or took time off to raise your children, for example. Before an interview, rehearse your employment gap explanationverbally.

Another reason never to lie? A background check or call to a reference will likely send your house of cards tumbling, and an impending offer could be pulled if a recruiter discovers that youve misled them.

2. Dont Disparage YourPreviousEmployer

If you were laid off or fired from your previousjob, it might be tempting to trash your former employer. Resist the urge. Your explanation of an employment gap should never contain bitterness against a past company or former boss.

Keep your responses simple and neutral. Explanations like Culturally, it wasnt a good fit for me or After the merger, my role was eliminated explain an exit without laying blame. Better yet, try emphasizing something positive about the situation, such as a lesson or skill you learned during your time in yourpreviousjob.

3. Rewrite Your Professional Summary

As an unemployed person, youve likely been filling your days differently than you did when you were working full-time. Perhaps youve been volunteering. Maybe you started a blog or took somecourses to beef up your skill set. Mention these activities in your summary to show employers youve done valuable things with your time while you were out of work.

4. Focus on Results


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