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Looking for a Job When Unemployed

By: Beth Morrisey MLIS - Updated: 17 Dec 2010 | comments*Discuss
Job Search Seeking Work While Unemployed

When you are unemployed your job is to find a job. From 9am to 5pm you should be using your energy to make yourself an attractive candidate and secure interviews.

After 5pm your time can be your own, but only if you are satisfied that you’ve put in a good day’s work. Not only will sticking to a routine keep you focused and structured, but it will guarantee that you cut down on your time out of work by keeping you at the forefront of all possible new opportunities. If you are looking for a job when unemployed, get cracking like it's, well, your job!

Eradicate Your Expenses

One of the hardest parts of looking for a job when unemployed is spending your savings on employment applications. Costs for phone calls, printing, photocopying, faxing and Internet surfing can all add up when you aren’t replacing them with your monthly salary.

Eradicate your expenses by taking advantage of free services when you can. Your local library is an excellent source of free reference books, Internet access and highly discounted printing and photocopying facilities. Libraries also carry local and national newspapers that can be a great source of job advertisements. Your local authorities may also run jobcentres that offer free expert advice on your CV and cover letter as well as applying for jobs and apprenticeships. Call in to your local authorities to see what help they can offer you in your job search.

Use Your Time Wisely

Obviously applying for jobs won’t take up 8 hours per day, so use the remaining hours of your work day to engage in activities that will fill up your CV. Today, employers aren’t shocked by gaps on a CV the way they might have been a few decades ago, but if you can prove that you used your time out of work wisely then you’ll be an even more attractive candidate.

Consider taking on a training or retraining course offered by your local authorities, or volunteer in the industry of your choice. Any of these options will give you another line on your CV, possible letters of reference and most importantly contacts in your chosen industry.

Stay Trendy

Even just a few weeks out of work can leave you behind the trends in your area. Stay trendy throughout your job search by reading industry journals, visiting professional associations or union websites to read press releases and reading a daily paper so that you keep abreast of any new findings, regulations, legislation and more that might affect your job.

Interviewers are always impressed with candidates who can demonstrate up-to-date knowledge in the area for which they are applying, so make staying trendy one of your top priorities while unemployed. Again, local libraries and jobcentres are an excellent source of free literature, newspapers and journals.

Be Sociable

With all the time you will be spending alone tracking down job ads, applying for positions and going to interviews, it will be tempting to simply stay at home and recuperate in the evenings. Don’t. Instead, make an effort to be sociable and keep up with your contacts.

Similarly, investing in a few key pieces – a good suit and shoes, a nice haircut, a classic briefcase – will help you look the part when you go to interviews. Though it may seem a little crazy to spend money that isn’t absolutely crucial, remember that you must spend money to make money. Consider a nice appearance and staying connected an investment in your career and parting with your cash may be a little bit easier.

Looking for a job when unemployed can be a frustrating, depressing time but it doesn’t have to be. There are support systems in place for those who are seeking work while unemployed, so use them. Ask around for help and you’ll likely be shocked with the amount of assistance you are offered. Take advantage of whatever deals and steals you can, and you should be sitting pretty in no time.

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