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23 February, 2012

What to do about lenghty gaps in unemployment during a job search?

Have you been searching for a job for a long (one year or more) time? Do you think this work gap is causing you to miss out on job opportunities? Here is an article form the New York Times with some suggestions. Most of the advice seems to be written for professionals, but I think it can be applied to all types of employees. This article from CareeRealism has a very similar list to the first, but is slightly less focused on professional careers.

Use the time to improve your skills or acquire new skills. This will keep you current in your field, so that during your next interview you can talk about the latest trends or things you have learned that will help the interviewer and her company.

Continue to develop your network, most career experts still maintain that 70 - 80% of jobs are acquired buy knowing the right people. Using sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to maintain your connections with people you know in your field will help you learn about new opportunities.

Personally I have been looking for a new job now for almost three years. The first year and a half I maintained my job, but knowing the contract would not be renewed due to the economy I began looking that far in advance. The past year and a half I have been unemployed. I have been volunteering to help maintain some connection to my field. I have begun to research jobs that are outside of traditional librarianship (my field) but use the skills I have mastered during my ten years in the profession. I have been reading to keep up with my field, but for me I think that this blog has been the best connection.

How have some of you managed lengthy periods of unemployment?