Let’s face it, when you’re unemployed the easiest thing to do is to whine about it. When nothing comes your way for weeks or even months on end it’s common to get caught in despair and blame everyone but yourself for the dreadful situation. It’s true, the economy is not blooming and the job opportunities are not growing on some magic job trees but the worst thing you can do about it is to feel powerless about changing your situation. I know, I know, you’ve send hundreds of applications without even getting one of those “sorry, you’re unfit for the position” replies, you’ve interrogated all your friends and most distant relatives about any job openings, and you’ve probably signed up at your local employment agency just to learn you’re one of thousands looking for an opening. It sucks, sure, but this is not the end of it. This is the time to use all your skills and really get out there, get active. Because let’s admit, what else is there for you to do all day?
If you’re unemployed and don’t have your LinkedIn profile yet, you just wasted a whole lot of time not being seen by thousands of employers around the globe. LinkedIn really is a great tool for promoting your skills and experience, so make sure you fill out your profile with as much information about yourself as possible. Connect with people you already know and with the ones in your branch that you can benefit from. Search for job openings and follow all the companies that interest you. Make sure to check for updates on a regular basis and update your profile as well. The best way to get ahead is to join a few groups in your field and have your eyes opened for comments about job openings. I once got a writing gig (that’s still going on) just by commenting on a group post. Don’t be afraid to expose yourself and ask for an opportunity, there really isn’t anything to loose, is there?
Employment fairs are a great way to introduce yourself to potential employers. Skipping the application part and going straight to face-to-face interview gives you the power to charm them, even if your experience isn’t quite there. Recruiters often admit they rather hire someone with less experience who shows passion and determination for the position than the other way around. With that said, don’t be too passionate about it, as it can quickly pass as desperate and fake. Be professional and relaxed at the same time, ask a lot of questions and don’t forget to hand them your resume in case they decide to contact you.
If you like it or not, fact is, more and more employers check your Facebook profile before hiring you. If there’s anything you’re not really proud of, you should delete it right this second, or at least hide it from being viewed publicly. A good idea would also be to set anyone’s tags to be preapproved, to avoid waking up one morning to a bunch of drunk photos on your profile. Also put some information about your career in your bio, just to show you’re not all about selfies and party. If you run a business, a blog or any kind of service, create a Page. It’s a good way to promote your talent. Facebook did change their policy and if you really want to be seen you’ll have to invest a few bucks into Facebook Ads Manager, but nonetheless if you link your Page to your personal profile recruiters can still find it and browse through your awesome work.
Get your butt off the couch
It may sound too simple to be true but going out can do wonders for your unemployed situation. I bet there’s plenty events in your field where you can have a cocktail and a nice chat with potential employers or people who can get your foot through the door. Yes, it’s called networking and it works. It’s probably the fastest way to land yourself a job as well. In a friendly environment where you don’t necessarily talk about work (actually it’s preferred you don’t) you can easily let all your other advantages shine. When the time is right and you see that your interlocutor is interested in what you do, steer the conversation towards your work experience. You don’t want to be too straight forward when asking if there’s any job openings in their company, but rather set a separate meeting to discuss collaboration opportunities.
I just joined a nonprofit organisation that helps young women towards finding their first employment. On weekly meetings we’ll develop our career goals and set 10 steps on how to get there. The good thing about it is that we get to choose a mentor from our field that will help us on the way. There are three great benefits from this kind of involvement. First we get to learn from someone who’s already successful in what we do, second we get involved in their organization and potentially have advantage in case they have an opening and third we get to meet so many other women who are in the same situation from which we can learn as well and possibly even collaborate with in the future. Now, maybe you don’t have something quite similar in your local unemployment organization but I bet you can find something just as exciting and helpful. If not, think about putting together something yourself. You’ll see how a bunch of women can motivate and make you accomplish wonders.
Lower your expectations
When finding a job you absolutely love isn’t a possibility, it’s perhaps time to reconsider and lower your standards. I’m sure you want to work in your field, do what you’re really good at and get paid loads for doing so, but sometimes there’s just no job openings, period. There comes a time where employment market is flooded with certain occupations, so you might have to search for something else. When doing so, you’ll also have to lower your expectations of what you’re capable of getting, and settle for something on a lower level of education or experience. Don’t be picky, money is money and whatever the society might think, all professions are honorable. Plus, there’s always more chance of finding a new job when you’re already in a working environment. Definitely beats sitting at home and moping about it.