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Career Advice

How to Enhance a Resume during Periods of Unemployment

Although the economy is slowly recovering from the recession of 2008, there is still a long way to go to a full recovery. With high unemployment and underemployment rates across most of the nation, many workers find themselves between jobs. There are a number of steps workers can take to enhance their resumes during episodes of unemployment. 

Periods of unemployment are ideal times to brush up on skills. Taking classes relevant to the worker’s field can not only increase their skill level, but it also shows prospective employers that the applicant is serious about his or her career. Participating in training helps keeps work skills fine-tuned. It is also possible to make contacts that could lead to employment.

Working as an unpaid volunteer is another way to keep skills fresh. Volunteering is also a resume enhancer. By giving back to the community, the volunteer demonstrates that he or she cares about others. It creates many opportunities for networking as well.

Volunteering is a self-esteem booster, particularly for those who may feel isolated without the camaraderie of a paid position. Helping others through a volunteer position creates a sense of usefulness that is missing from the lives of many who are unemployed.

Another alternative to consider while pursuing full-time permanent employment is to work as a temporary or contract laborer. There are numerous temporary and free-lance work opportunities in today’s labor market. According to a recent government jobs report, temporary jobs made up a third of all new jobs created. Working as a contract or temporary employee can sometimes lead to permanent employment. With so much uncertainty in the economy, a temporary position can serve as an audition for a permanent spot.

The best way to find these jobs is through a temporary staffing agency. There are general agencies that hire for all types of jobs. Specialized agencies that focus on specific industries are good resources for those with advanced skills. Clinical research staffing agencies, for example, typically handle hiring for temporary medical research positions. Information technology employment agencies handle placement of workers in IT jobs. General staffing agencies also place workers in these types of positions.

The important thing to remember when waiting out a period of unemployment is to stay focused. By working to keep skills updated and taking advantage of every opportunity to make new connections, it’s possible to put the down time to good use.

This is a guest post for TheEmployable

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