Your self-esteem can really take a beating while you’re unemployed. Keeping your resume current when you’re unemployed seems like a daunting task. You’d like to think the reason you’re unemployed isn’t because of your job performance at your previous job, but that you are the victim of a sour economy. When you feel your self-esteem has been trampled upon as if a mob of anxious shoppers rush into the store on the day after Thanksgiving, you don’t feel like devising a plan to keep your resume up to date so that you have a better chance of landing that new job.
In the meantime, there are some things you can do to keep your resume current so that you don’t have to explain away any gaps of employment when you interview for your next job.
Network Network Network
You’ve always prided yourself in getting jobs because of what you know and what you are able to do. You let your work speak for itself. However, you are also aware that some people land jobs because of who they know and not necessarily because of what they know. Networking provides the opportunity to leverage what you know with who you know. Follow me there?
The biggest networking tool by far is the Internet. If you don’t already have accounts on social media websites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Twitter, you could be missing out on some prime networking opportunities.
Take LinkedIn for example. LinkedIn is a social media website business professionals use to show who they are, where their career path has gone, and what career goals they have in mind. You can connect with people you know from past employers, people who share the same type of career interests you have, college friends and professors, or people you hang out with on the weekend.
It’s important to keep your LinkedIn profile up-to-date so that people know you’re looking for a job. However, don’t let your interaction with your LinkedIn connections be limited to the Internet. Take the opportunity to meet with some of your connections in person. Personal, face-to-face contact does much more to help you land that next job than sitting in your recliner in your living room with your laptop on your lap and waiting for something to happen. Networking is about meeting people — not just online, but also in person.
But I Can’t Afford to Work for Free!
“You want me to work for free?” you ask. No, I want you to volunteer some of your time, giving back to the community by using your talents and abilities used at your previous job. If you’re a bookkeeper or an accountant, you may consider volunteering your time to help low income families do their taxes. If your favorite local charity has a website that looks like something from 1999 and you are well-versed in computer languages, offer to bring that website up-to-date with your mad computer skills.
Think of it this way. Volunteering is mutually beneficial. You volunteered your time and skills to help people or an organization. In return, you can ask the person you helped to serve as a reference for you when you put your volunteer work on your resume.
As you can see, these are just a few simple things you can do to keep your resume current when you’re unemployed