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The economy may be at its worst. Nobody, not even the experts know for sure when unemployment will turn around. If you are currently unemployed, while you cannot control the job-market, the one thing that you can control is what you do during this period.
Tip #1: Don’t give up on your job search.
Most individuals get discouraged and stop searching for jobs after a while. Even if it takes a year or more, keep searching. Don’t be afraid to accept a job that’s outside of your experience area, or a job that maybe considered a step-down from what you were doing. Nevertheless, do not stop searching for a job at your level of training and experience.
Tip #2: Don’t stick to one job-search strategy.
For most people, looking for work means a search through CareerBuilder or some other major job-board; and submitting numerous resumes to every single job post. Look away from such ineffective strategies and try new strategies. For instance instead of just responding to job posts, approach employers directly by sourcing their information online and sending them your profile; dress up as you would for an interview and visit the organizations you are interested in to make direct applications; advertise your expertise online using the available social media networks; if you left on good terms with your last employer, get in touch with them to see if they may have a need for you now, and ask them to consider you first should they re-start hiring; get a professional resume make-over and sign-up with permanent as well as temporary recruiters; make contact with people in organizations that can make the decision to hire you; and aggressively work your network.
Tip #3: Stay active:
At the end of the day, even if you are able to explain away your being unemployed, employers still want to know what you were doing during your period of unemployment. It is not a bad idea to get some specialized training or to go back to school at this time. You can also volunteer in your field or find projects to work on that are related to your career or the direction you want your career to go.
Another popular option you could consider is to start your own business. You may decide to go solo and offer some services or consulting in your field, or sell some product. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation recently released the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity, showing that in 2009, “business startups reached their highest level in 14-years.” The internet makes it easy to get advice, advertise, and according to branding experts such as Dan Schawbel, create a brand and image that you can market. Take advantage of the resources available to you online and join the “558,000 new businesses that were created each month,” in 2009 (according to the index)!