Have you been unemployed for a length of time? Learn what additional sections of your resume can be used to handle the hurdle of being unemployed when looking for a new job. Resume expert Stacey Gordon will walk you through how to increase your marketability, remain confident in your job search and go beyond the resume to get the job.
- If you have ever heard the words, I'm sorry, but unfortunately we chose a candidate whose skills were a better fit for the position, you've probably also felt that person wasn't really all that sorry, and whoever they chose couldn't possibly have been a better fit than you. Unfortunately you could be correct. The problems facing the long-term unemployed were highlighted during our most recent recession, and it was quite likely that a person who had been unemployed for longer than six months wasn't being hired, not because they didn't possess the skills, but because they had simply been unemployed for too long.
So how do you prevent your resume from being blindly rejected? First of all, you can't. And while that may not sound encouraging, I'd like you to see things a little differently. If you're currently unemployed, you are probably frustrated with the process, and feeling a little down on yourself. But worrying about all the bad things that can happen won't improve your situation. What will? Setting realistic expectations, understand the market, know the rate of unemployment for the field to which you are applying, and know the rate of unemployment for your particular city.
Knowing this helps you understand exactly what you're up against, and your chances of success. Be realistic about your skill set and what you bring to the table so that when you do apply for a job, you have an understanding of the possibility of being contacted. Remain confident in your abilities while you work on getting your foot in the door, starting with your resume. If you're someone who has been unemployed for a long time, with a long time being longer than six to 12 months, you understand it's importance.
Mainly because your resume is the first thing a potential employer will see, and it's the most scrutinized document you will ever create in the job search process. If you've been looking for a job for a while, you've probably already created 28 versions of your resume, and the thought of creating yet another version might send chills up your spine. As with any of the common challenges candidates face, you increase your chances of overcoming your particular challenge by adding more optional sections to your resume, such as the volunteer work and achievements sections.
Showing that you, the candidate, have gone above and beyond the job requirements will level the playing field when faced with a perceived hurdle. And while at first this may seem unfair, I challenge you to think as an employer. If you've been unemployed for a few months, and you state you have a particular skill, how can you show you have used that skill and kept up with changes? How can you show you are better than other applicants who have been gainfully employed and who are using that skill every day? Volunteer work, continuing education, working as a consultant, and a demonstration of expertise become expected activities to fill the void.
For someone who's been unemployed longer than six months, adding these additional sections of the resume is not just a nice to do, it's a necessity. The longer you're unemployed, the higher the temptation becomes to throw everything you've ever done in your career into your resume and hope it will improve your odds. Instead, part of the customization process might mean removing extra information from your resume. And while that might seem counterproductive, keep in mind you're attempting to focus the reader on the skills you possess that are directly relevant to the job you applied for.
If you have had trouble securing employment, try putting your resume down and leaving the house. Getting out and meeting people will create additional ways for you to submit your resume. There's nothing better than submitting a resume with a personal referral attached to it. The resume is important because it backs up your claims of experience, but at the end of the day a personal referral will be extremely effective if you are currently unemployed. Turning your situation around sometimes begins with a change in attitude, and having watched this video you should be in the right frame of mind to update the relevant sections of your resume to showcase your expertise, your volunteer work, and any other areas where you can stand out.
With an updated resume and a fresh outlook on your opportunity for success, I'm positive you will begin to see results.
Stacey A. Gordon, cofounder of Career Incubator, has made it her life's work to help others find the jobs and build the careers of their dreams. In this course, she walks through the basics of resume writing for job seekers, as well as a few extra job search basics such as following up, sending thank-you notes, and identifying companies to work for and determining fit.
Stacey explains what you should include on your resume, what to exclude, and how to craft your resume to showcase your talents and best qualities. Using practical resume examples, Stacey walks through choosing the right resume format, tailoring the information to match job requirements, and writing alternative resumes that include industry-specific information. Last, Stacey shows you how to deal with some common sore spots—like job hopping, lack of experience, or large unemployment gaps—while concentrating on your experience.
- Writing an objective statement
- Adding a summary of skills
- Showcasing your professional work
- Presenting your education
- Customizing your contact information
- Tailoring your resume to fit a job
- Upgrading your resume
- Choosing a resume layout
- Writing resumes for marketing, entertainment, and design jobs
- Handling career gaps and job changes
- Standing out and following up with employers
- Using a resume effectively
- Determining fit at a prospective job
- Finding contacts at companies you want to work for