Regardless of your reason for unemployment, you’re probably finding that you have much more free time on your hands. If you are in between jobs, you may be looking for productive ways to spend that time.
When you’re unemployed, your job search should be a job in and of itself. And, with a few easy steps a day, you can bring yourself that much closer to finding your next career opportunity.
Here are 10 things you should do every day when you’re unemployed to get hired faster.
“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” – Benjamin Franklin
It’s easy to fall into the habit of putting off tasks, especially while you’re unemployed. However, your newfound time should not go to waste. Schedule time every day dedicated to finding your next job – whether that means searching online, networking, scrolling through job alert emails, or driving around looking for “We’re Hiring” signs. You will be surprised how much you can get done in just 30 minutes. By scheduling that time, you’ll hold yourself accountable and ensure you don’t miss out on new opportunities.
One of our best job search tips is to research potential employers. Answering the question, “Where do I want to work next?” is a great place to start. Make a shortlist of companies that interest you and look up their websites, career pages, and employee reviews to get an idea of their workplace cultures, business priorities, and reputations. Doing so will help you decide if they’d be a good fit for you and your career goals. When you find a match, check out the company’s job openings and consider setting up informational interviews.
There is no better time to build up your resume than while you’re in between jobs. In fact, updating your resume is one of the very first things you should do when you find yourself out of work. But it’s also a great time to finally take that online course you have been considering. Are there any certifications or training that could be of value to your resume? Furthering your education could even help you qualify for a more highly ranked position at your new place of employment.
You don’t need to enroll in some expensive university either – there are tons of free or low-cost options in the form of massive open online courses (MOOCs). Check out iHire’s online courses library to get started.
Take time every day to prepare for the inevitable: You will have to sit in the interview hot seat eventually. For some of us, it can be difficult to give your personal elevator pitch or come up with all the right answers on the spot. Do your future self a favor and practice your responses to common interview questions, and prepare a list of your strengths and weaknesses. Tap a friend or family member to field you questions and mimic and real-life interview.
Alright, this isn’t your typical piece of unemployment advice, but staying active and healthy is important to staying productive and maintaining a driven mindset. Even if this simply means taking a walk around the block once a day, keep your body moving and blood pumping, and you’ll be more motivated to apply for jobs.
Work some networking activities into your daily job search schedule. Start by making a list of your previous coworkers, bosses, professors, and people you know who work in your target industry or at a company that interests you. You may also attend career fairs (even virtual career fairs), seek out new contacts on social media, connect with a career coach or advisor, or explore local volunteer opportunities.
Have you already taken hours out of your day to find a new job but can’t think of what to do with your remaining free time? Break out those old paintbrushes, pick up your favorite novel, or finally complete that home project you have been pushing off. Find a pastime that brings you joy and run with it. Puzzling, knitting, gardening, or whatever your secret passion may be, can offer a nice break so that you come back to your job search feeling refreshed. Plus, if your hobby is relevant to your desired career, you can highlight it on your resume.
Applying for jobs can be a numbers game, so don’t sell yourself short. Apply for the jobs that are obviously good fits for you and some that are not. If you have the right transferable skills and can highlight them in your resume, you may find a rewarding opportunity outside of your typical field. Remember, there are more places hiring than you think! It’s also a good idea to set a goal for the number of jobs to plan to apply to each day. Be sure to keep track of where you’ve applied and when.
If you take one thing away from this list of unemployment advice, it should be this: Follow up on your job applications. It is not enough to submit your resume and wait. The reality is that your application was likely added to a growing pile. Call your potential employer and check up on the status of your resume – this is what will get you noticed and even bump you to the front of the line.
As you navigate unemployment, iHire is here to help. Find your niche® in one or more of our industry-specific talent communities and start in your search.