Dealing with Long-term Unemployment
Being unemployed for a long time can be both financially and personally challenging. To make matters worse, some employers may hesitate to hire a candidate with a large gap in their resume’s work history.
Take heart, there are things you can do to assist in securing a new role:
Volunteer: How about volunteering for a local charity or another type of organization? You will not only be helping those in need, but you can also get back into the work habit and add this to your resume. You never know, you may even secure a paid role within the organization. The new contacts and networking prospects presented during volunteering are priceless. Find a volunteer opportunity by simply googling “volunteer opportunities near me” or visiting sites like www.VolunteerMatch.org; notice opportunities in hunger, environment, animals and further agriculture-related categories.
Short-term work options: You may wish to consider contract, temporary, seasonal, consulting, or casual work to add to your resume. Temp work provides recent work experience to update your resume and a foot in the door at a new company. There are plenty of seasonal work openings in the agricultural industry. Search the keywords “temporary” or “seasonal” at www.AgCareers.com. Alternatively, search under the “consultant/agent” career type in the advanced search menu.
Go outside of your comfort zone: Not many jobs, in fact, are glamorous. Even talking to people in jobs you think may be desirable, you find out they’re not what you think. So why not take on something you have not thought about before? Working on farm, as a delivery driver or something totally different may bring in good money and you may discover you really like it.
Keep up-to-date: Read current industry publications and search the internet for employer news. Who knows, you may even spot a business that is expanding; follow them on social media for the latest updates. Consider continuing education, certifications, or online training programs to keep your skills up-to-date.
Touch base with former employers: If you had a good relationship with a former employer, give them a call. They may not need anyone in their workplace now, but they may know or put the feelers out for you with others. Similarly, touch base with past colleagues to see if they know of any positions on offer. Update your references and ask for recommendations on social networks.
If eligible, register for unemployment benefits: Have you been trying to manage unemployment all on your own? Check into government unemployment benefits and register now. It’s worth your time to investigate even if you aren’t sure you’re eligible.
Don’t hide long-term unemployment on your resume: It’s best to explain a gap in your resume, especially if it’s because you left the workforce to care for family members, lost your job because of a restructure or were just “last on, first off” in your previous workplace. Particularly, add how you kept your skills current during your period of unemployment and any training you have undertaken.
If your enthusiasm is lacking because you’ve been unemployed for a while, remember to stay positive and rise to the challenge with your application materials and in your interview. Employers may sense this lack of motivation when interviewing a candidate. Remember, employers know they can teach you anything, except a great attitude.