Since the Great Recession, many employers have loosened their expectations of prospective employees. Resume gaps are no longer seen as quite as damaging, and neither is taking a job beneath your qualifications. But long-term unemployment can still damage your career prospects, because while your resume remains static, people with jobs are adding accomplishments to theirs. Luckily, you can do the same without having a job. Try some of the following tips to strengthen your resume while you’re unemployed.
– Volunteer. Volunteer positions on a resume demonstrate many positive qualities. They show that you like to contribute to society and that you find it important to make the most of your time. If you look hard enough, you may also find volunteer work that makes use of your job skills and provides additional job-related experience.
– Continue your education. Taking a class or a workshop is a great way to keep your skills fresh while unemployed. You may be able to earn a certification that you never had time for while in a full-time position, or you can add a new, in-demand skill to your resume. You can also try teaching a class. Many cities allow you to use community resources like recreation centers to teach classes in your areas of expertise. Even teaching classes unrelated to your profession can help your resume stand out.
– Open a business. While establishing some types of companies requires a large capital investment, other businesses require less money and more time, which you may have a lot of while unemployed. Running your own company will help you develop soft skills as well as give you invaluable experience.
– Start a professional blog. Blogging about topics important to your field can help you establish a name and brand for yourself. It may also provide you with opportunities to network.