Unemployment and job layoffs are unfortunately a part of life, but have grown exponentially since the global pandemic. If you or someone you know is experiencing job loss either temporarily or long-term, then there are a few avenues listed below you can take to keep your head above water until you obtain new employment.
Seek Unemployment Compensation
If you are experiencing job loss due to the pandemic or another reason outside of your control then filing for Unemployment compensation is an excellent option for you. Although some people may feel embarrassed to seek out this type of assistance, it is better to use it when you actually need it instead of risking not being able to pay your bills. Through this program you may be provided temporary income to help bridge the gap between being laid off and obtaining new employment.
While it may be tempting to enjoy a break from working before beginning your job search, it is crucial that you begin as soon as possible. Individuals qualifying for Unemployment benefits will be given a specific period of time that they will be covered by the program, and you do not want to be caught without a job or any remaining Unemployment assistance. Each state has their own process and set of laws regarding Unemployment, therefore it is important to understand the guidelines and length of time you will be allowed to receive this compensation.
Update Your Resume
Since beginning the search for a new job is time sensitive, then updating your resume should be your top priority to help the process go smoothly. It is easy to forget about updating your resume because it has more than likely been a while since you have needed to apply for a job. Many career centers or local community colleges offer resume writing services, but the following key points can help if you are interested in tackling this step on your own:
- Update contact information and dates of employment.
- Bring your most recent and relevant experience to the top of the page.
- Avoid lengthy sentences.
- Take advantage of free resume templates through Microsoft Word or Google Docs
One useful method to avoiding the trap of adding lengthy groups of text in your resume is to incorporate bullet points with the most relevant and recent job experience for the position you are applying for. Including bullet points on your resume is also helpful when employers are utilizing job search softwares that looks for key terms and skills when filtering through applications. In fact, having the relevant skills and experience on the forefront of your resume will help distinguish your resume to both hiring staff and hiring softwares. Making sure your resume advocates to employers that you are the best fit for the position is the ultimate goal when updating your resume. With the rising remote work and hiring right now, a good ATS friendly resume can help you pass through hiring systems currently at the works today.
Begin Searching for Employment Opportunities
Having an updated resume means you are ready to apply for vacant positions! One of the most efficient methods for searching for employment is utilizing online job search websites such as, Indeed.com, Monster.com or even through social media sites like Facebook or LinkedIn. Online job postings are increasingly becoming more popular as a method for reaching potential applicants because key words can be used to narrow down search results instead of having to scroll through every job opening.
There are other options for finding employment aside from job search websites that may not be as convenient, but just as rewarding if it is the right method for you. Job placement specialists are available through career centers, independent recruiting centers, and sometimes community colleges. If there is a particular group or company you would like to apply for specifically, then you could register for their employment opportunity email listing, if available, to be notified each time a position becomes available or just continuously check their website for job postings.
Prepare for Your Interview
If you have not participated in a formal interview, or it has been several years, there are simple ways to prepare for this next step! One way to boost your confidence in an interview is to feel like you have a good grasp on how to answer the interviewer’s questions. Having a general idea for how you would like to answer specific interview questions allows you to focus more on conveying them well versus trying to come up with these responses on the spot.
A post on Job Interview Tips to Help You Land a Job emphasizes on dress code. Ensure you will be dressed appropriately for the interview because this first interaction, whether it is a virtual or in-person interview, is crucial in forming a good impression. If you are worried about not being able to afford an expensive suit, do not worry! Many people are able to obtain affordable business attire from thrift stores, discount stores, department stores or even borrow interview clothing from career centers. Career centers are here to help individuals succeed in obtaining employment, and many provide this service at little to no cost. The goal is to not spend a lot of money on the clothing, but to show an effort to make the best impression possible.
When you are feeling better prepared to attend your interview, it is common practice to enlist help from a friend by asking them to do a mock interview with you. This is a helpful extra step in seeing how you will react to being interviewed and may bring some weaknesses to light for you to resolve before your actual interview. If you would rather keep this step to yourself and not involve outside help, you could record yourself answering the questions and make note on how you can improve your body language and verbal responses.
Consider Freelance or Temporary Employment
According to studies conducted by DDIY.co, 35% of the global workforce is composed of freelance employees independent of the pandemic. Since the start of the pandemic, this percentage of freelance employment is expected to rise due to job layoffs and the benefit of working safely from home. Even if there was not a pandemic taking place, freelance work is a great option for a flexible income for those who have lost their job until new full-time employment is obtained or you make the decision to continue with freelance opportunities.
If you feel as though you need extra time before obtaining your next career, enlisting in an internship opportunity or applying for temporary positions may be the best solution for you. The opportunities may show you that you enjoy working for that company and would provide familiarity with the position if they decide they would like to hire you as a permanent employee, in addition to providing an income during an uncertain time!
Time for Action!
Unemployment causes stress and panic because most people are not sure how to keep their head above water long enough to develop a game plan. The methods listed in this article should hopefully provide some guidance during a time of uncertainty caused by unemployment. Once provided with knowledge on where to seek help and what steps to take to obtain new employment, you should feel much more confident in how to better your situation!