If you were in charge of hiring and you had been interviewing lots of candidates, many of whom are unemployed, what would you listen for in order to differentiate these candidates?
One question you might ask is .. "What have you been doing since your job ended?" You're logic for asking this question is to find out several things- what kind of work ethic does this person have, how internally motivated are they, how passionate about their work are they, how well does this person solve difficult problems, and maybe other things too.
So when answering this question in an inteview, you, the job seeker, need to find ways to set yourself apart. However, this means you have to actually do something besides look for jobs 24/7.
Don't misunderstand me, please, you do need to be looking for a new job and that takes time, but what else are you doing?
Sign up for classes. This is a great time to update or expand your knowledge. I know money is tight, but if you don't invest in you, then where will you be in the future.
Volunteer. Find an organization that needs your help and give back. Volunteering can be extremely rewarding and has great emotional benefits too.
Resolve to do something new. Maybe you have always wanted to join a book club, learn sign language, tutor, or join a gym. Do it!
Take on a part time job or contract assignment or freelance. Might this impact your unemployment? Usually. But think of the benefits of working…working anywhere using your skills and feeling valued and EARNING money. Psychologically, it is a good thing.
You have some extra time on your hands if you are unemployed, carve out time for your self development, both for now and the future.
Hannah Morgan speaks and writes about job search and career strategies. She founded CareerSherpa.net to educate professionals on how to maneuver through today’s job search process. Hannah was nominated as a LinkedIn Top Voice in Job Search and Careers and is a regular contributor to US News & World Report. She has been quoted by media outlets, including Forbes, USA Today, Money Magazine, Huffington Post, as well as many other publications. She is also author of The Infographic Resume and co-author of Social Networking for Business Success.