unemployment cv

Dealing with Unemployment in your CV

Unemployment is a pretty difficult topic to talk about with anyone. People don’t want others to know that they’re jobless. They feel ashamed and like they’re a complete failure. They’re afraid that people will judge them unfairly because they’re unemployed.

Being in-between jobs may indeed be a stressful and challenging stage, especially if you’ve been out of work for a long time. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a hopeless situation. In fact, there have been lots who’ve managed to land a job even after an extended period of unemployment.

Here are some tips to help you make a comeback to the corporate world after a long hiatus.

Update your contact information

While the details of your work experience and achievements are important, it won’t do you much good if recruiters can’t reach you simply because your contact information aren’t up-to-date.
In fact, updating your contact information is the very first thing that you need to do the moment you get employed, especially those that you include on social network sites like LinkedIn. That way, you’re assured that recruiters and potential employers will have a way to reach you and invite you in for an interview.

Come clean about your unemployment

As the saying goes, “honesty is the best policy.” Don’t be afraid to include the correct end date for your last position held. Otherwise, you risk giving a negative impression to recruiters and potential employers when they find out the truth.

Why?

First, you’re giving recruiters a reason to speculate why you’re unemployed. They might think that you have loyalty issues in the current company you are working.  Or in some cases, they can question your conflict of interest.

Not being honest about your employment history will cause recruiters to doubt the accuracy of the rest of the information in your profile or CV. No matter how well you explain to them the reason for your unemployment, it can still affect your credibility and create an impression of being dishonest. So make sure that everything in your profile is accurate and correct. 

Assess the employment gap

How long you’ve been unemployed plays an important part on how you’ll deal with unemployment in your CV.

There are so many reasons why people experience a very extended period of unemployment. Illness is one reason. Another is a change in priorities after getting married. The latter applies in particular to women. Many women turn their backs from their careers after they become mothers because they want to become a hands-on mom.

Instead of focusing on your unemployment, highlight the various milestones and achievements you’ve accomplished during this period like learning new skills you and additional certifications.

Use proper headings in your CV

It’s important to show recruiters that even if you’ve had an extended unemployment period, you weren’t idle.

You can show employers and executive recruiters that you’re active in the job market by using words like “Seeking” or “Available” in the headings of your CV and social media profile. These words give an impression that you’re readily available to come in for an interview and start a new job.

Make use of your time wisely

Some people use this period of being unemployed to catch up with old friends and taking some time off to relax and unwind. While there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s also important to make sure that you devote some time to stay updated on the latest trends within your industry. Enroll in some additional courses, learn new skills, and get yourself certified. That way, when you’re ready to come back after your hiatus, you’re able to compete with other candidates.

Now is also an excellent time to be active in group discussions and share your knowledge in discussion groups and forums related to your niche. You’re not only able to stay updated, but you’re also showcasing your knowledge, experience, and skills. In effect, you’re establishing yourself as a reliable and knowledgeable professional, which would capture the attention of recruiters and potential employers.

Check job openings regularly

The only way to find a job while you’re unemployed is by checking job openings regularly. In addition to subscribing to newsletters from different job sites, you can set up alerts in search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo so that you can receive an email when new jobs are advertised.

Include relevant keywords in your CV

These days, recruiters and companies use applicant tracking systems to help them find the right candidate for a job they’re advertising.

Applicant tracking systems work very much like search engines. Recruiters will use keywords that they want to find in a CV or social media profile of job seekers to find the best candidates. The more these keywords appear in a job seeker’s CV or social media profile, the higher his or her CV will rank. Those whose CVs land on the first page of the search results will be the first recruiters will contact.

This is why it’s important to check job openings in your niche regularly. As you go through different job openings, you’ll notice keywords and phrases commonly used by recruiters. You can then incorporate these into your CV and social media profiles so that applicant tracking systems can pick up on these, increasing your chances of getting hired.

Landing a job after a long unemployment period isn’t difficult, just as long as you make use of the time wisely. Stay active, improve yourself, and keep on looking for opportunities. It won’t be long before you get hired.