5 Things You Should Be Doing When You’re Unemployed

(or actively seeking for a new opportunity) 

Unemployed

STOP Applying to jobs you’re actually not qualified for (which more or less half of all job-seekers do)! This is counter-productive to your job search and might come across as of you do not know what you want in a job, or even career. So stop applying to so many jobs and dedicate time each week to becoming more hireable using the next 5 tips:

1. Volunteer
Volunteering can increase your chances of being hired. That is, if you’re strategic about it. By volunteering somewhere relevant, you’ll keep your skills fresh while enhancing your resume, or you can develop other skills, and gain new experiences. Besides, this also is an opportunity for extending your network. And this might just get you in contact with some one, who knows someone, or a company, that is looking for a person like you …. This way you can get recommended / referred as a good candidate which might just get you the job.

2. Build Your Online Presence
Get found online by being visible. Update your social network profiles and make sure you are ‘visible’ to your network and engage.  You could create an online portfolio to showcase your work, or start a blog.

Social Media IconsFind companies you’re interested in working for, subscribe to their blogs, and follow them on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. Engage with them and share their contents, participate in discussions, etc. But DO NOT overdo this, you don’t want to come across as desperate, obsessed, or some kind of stalker.

Find decision-makers at those companies and follow them as well. Learn what they’re talking about, do your research, and then engage with them online. Impress them with your interest and insights.

Worst case scenario — you’ll learn what’s important to them and use this information to customize your application when a job opens up.

Better case scenario — you’ll establish a rapport with someone who will recommend you for a position and/or tell you about unpublished openings.

Best case scenario — you’ll impress someone so much over time that they’ll create a job for you or bring you in for an exploratory interview.

3. Keep Your Skills Up-to-Date 
If you lack a skill commonly required for jobs you’re seeking, spend time each day developing that skill. Take advantage of numerous free resources online, including tutorials, e-books, and how-to videos. If you’d rather have more of a class setup, then look for free or affordable adult education classes in your area. Alternatively, if you already possess the necessary skills but haven’t been practicing, then do so. Skill atrophy is a huge concern for Hiring Managers, so practice and get yourself ready for pre-employment skills tests.

4. Network
There are two parts to networking: reconnecting with your old contacts and forming new ones. Depending on where you are in your career, reconnecting might mean contacting professors, college advisers, and internship supervisors, or it might mean getting in touch with old colleagues, bosses, and business acquaintances.

Catching up over coffeeFind them, e-mail them, call them. Ask them to grab a coffee together to catch-up (networking is socializing) and let them know the specifics of your job search (industry, location, etc.). See if they know of anything or anyone. And don’t forget to follow up! Also as you don’t want to come across as the person who only contacts others when you need something from them, and after that disappears.

At a temporary dead-end with your current contacts? Make new ones. Go to networking events sponsored by your university, industry, city, and so on. And look beyond traditional networking events. Consider going to lectures, neighborhood council meetings, even community bar crawls (go easy on the sauce). Each of these provides an opportunity to meet people with similar interests, and you can have fun in the process.

Again, after an initial first contact, follow up! And after this, try to touch base occasionally, for example invite your new contact to join you for an event similar to the one you met each other.

5. Freelance
Freelancing is a great way to boost your skills, resume, portfolio, professional network, income, experience, and confidence. Besides, you can do this at times that suit you best AND you have the ability to this next to your job search, as it will not stand in the way of potential interviews. Plus, delivering a quality project or assignment might lead to a fulltime occupation with the company you were engaged with.

 

What are you doing to make yourself more hireable? Feel free to share your experiences and tips with us!

 

Original article can be found here: http://www.careerealism.com/things-should-doing-unemployed/#zRDbMoAZoWp6UD88.99