COVID-19 caused a considerable amount of people to be out of work, struggling to figure out what to do to make ends meet in a new and uncertain job market. Being that employers generally view large gaps in employment as a red flag, find comfort in the fact that most employers understand that these times have been challenging. However, it is still essential to do your best in ensuring you are appealing to prospective employers and understand how to find work.
PREPARING TO APPLY TO JOBS AFTER UNEMPLOYMENT
Though you may need to get a job ASAP, it’s in your best interest to lay some groundwork to make that unemployment gap less of a red flag on your resume. Doing so will save you a considerable amount of time and disappointment in the long run. Some tips on how to do that are:
Ensure your skills and qualifications are at the top of your resume and clearly visible.
Prepare a solid cover letter that explains what caused the stretch of long-term unemployment and how your situation has shifted, allowing you to be free and flexible to work again.
Reach out to your close friends, family, and any other possible professional contacts to see if they are aware of any opportunities that they could give you a referral for.
Make sure you are clear on the types of jobs you want to apply for so your motivations are strong, and it’s clear to employers that you won’t take just any job.
Put together some questions for your interviews that will show the employer that their needs and business goals are important to you.
As you browse the current job opportunities out there, come up with examples of how your current skills and past experiences make you a great fit for such positions.
Consider taking a few courses and getting a certification to strengthen your qualifications and display your commitment to continuing your growth and capabilities.
WHAT TO DO NEXT?
Once you have gone through all of the steps above, you should feel really clear and confident about what jobs you want to apply to and be ready to submit yourself for those. There are many ways to find current job openings in your area; it all depends on how much time and energy you’re willing to invest in that effort. Consider doing at least one or all of the following to set yourself up for success:
Explore jobs on popular, highly rated job posting websites, setting filters to pare down the search results according to your specific qualifications and other preferences.
Search for companies in your area and check if they have a list of current job openings displayed somewhere on their website.
Reach out directly to desirable companies in your area with a short but intentional message about your interest in working for them.
Apply for a high volume of positions, even some that you may not have considered in the past, to ensure you are allowing yourself all possible opportunities that will ultimately align with your needs.
Engage the help of staffing experts and agencies to ensure that you are adequately supported, informed, and set up with a paycheck as soon as possible.