Three tips to improve your chances of landing a job after being unemployed for a long time

After 12 years of steady employment, 28-year-old jobseeker Sara handled the minor bumps and bruises of a job search right up until one final hurdle: The dreaded kitchen sink interview. Sara, a college instructor,…

Three tips to improve your chances of landing a job after being unemployed for a long time

After 12 years of steady employment, 28-year-old jobseeker Sara handled the minor bumps and bruises of a job search right up until one final hurdle: The dreaded kitchen sink interview.

Sara, a college instructor, was ready to take the next step up in her career.

“If you took all my personal life off the table, I could have anywhere from five to 10 interviews,” she said. “At a typical interview, you’re pretty much like an Olympic-level athlete. It’s all these days and hours, you’re fit, you’re polished, and you’re prepared for anything that they throw at you.”

To secure the job of her dreams, Sara knew she’d have to overcome cultural differences between the US and Europe.

The following are three steps to get back into the job market.

1. Up Your Game

There is a clear difference between prepared and qualified when it comes to landing a job.

As Sara learned during the kitchen sink interview, these two qualities can differ even in an American hiring manager’s opinion.

“She said, ‘You know what? I think your experience and credentials will leave me with more questions than answers,’” Sara said.

But once you’re off the table, the final step is to be prepared for the next step.

“Make sure that you read through your resume, make sure you thoroughly screen out any biases, any biases that may come up,” said Janet Lebewohl, an Atlanta attorney and the co-author of the book Your CV: the High-Level Job Search Essentials you Need to Know and the 6 Reads You Must Have for An Even More Secure Path to a Job You Love.

2. Prove You’re Indispensable

Workplace freelancers bring an unbeatable level of flexibility to a business, yet at this very point many professionals believe they’re simply freelancing.

There is no “better” alternative to a job, and your employer should understand this during your job interview.

“I met with the employer and explained that he could ask any question they wanted, and I’d just be in there on his behalf,” Sara said. “I don’t think people understand that when an employer hires you, they’re hiring you to help.”

Employers are typically curious about your qualifications and expertise, and your boss can often make an immediate impact if they’re satisfied.

“If your manager really likes you, he can be the person that comes up with some really creative ideas for work and that will start to show in your scorecard.”

3. Unwind the Past

Before you can get back into the job market, you have to move on from the gig.

If you’ve been unemployed for a long time, it can be tough to get motivated to start thinking about your next role.

However, dishing the dirt on your last experience can have positive consequences.

“It’s sometimes people, who in their job search process have some really bad experiences… who spend the whole time thinking, ‘Why am I even doing this?’ because they kept going back to the same old problem,” Lebewohl said.

With that said, you need to let go of any preconceived ideas about your current situation.

“It’s not about how bad a place you went to,” Lebewohl said. “It’s about where you are right now. And, you can do that on your own without the knowledge that you were looking for a better place.”

This article was originally published on eHow.

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