Make the Most of Gaps in Employment

If you’ve been out of work for any significant amount of time, it’s a good idea to start engaging in activities to make that employment gap in your resume seem more like a positive than a negative. If during an interview you’re asked to explain a long gap in your employment history, you definitely want to avoid looking unproductive. It’s wise to keep the task of looking for a job first on your priority list, but we recommend looking into some of the below activities, as well.

Further Your Knowledge
Nothing looks better to an employer than taking the initiative to further refine your skills. Signing up for seminars and classes will keep you up to date with the hottest trends in your career field, even while not actively working in the industry. You’ll likely add new people to your professional network, so be sure to keep your resume updated as you master any new skills.

Start an Industry Blog
Being unemployed is not synonymous to being uninterested. If you’ve got a bit of free time in your hands, why not start an industry blog where you share your thoughts on industry-related news? Keep it strictly professional, of course. This will give you an informal platform to showcase your knowledge on the subject and will enhance your professional online presence. These days, I’m sure most hiring managers perform at least a simple Google search, and a successful industry blog appearing along side your Facebook and LinkedIn pages could be quite impressive.

Try Freelance or Contract Work
Both of these methods can be good ways to add to your portfolio, as well as act as a source of income. Being a temporary or contract employer can be a nice change of pace. You get the flexibility of short or long term projects, competitive pay rates and can range in duration.

Volunteer and Be Acitve!
This one almost goes without saying. It’s always great to volunteer to help out a good cause, however strategically speaking, it may be best to support organizations that are more relevant to your career field. They’ll have a greater impact on your resume, and you’ll get yet another opportunity to grow your ever-important professional network.

By becoming more involved with professional associations, you may have the opportunity to do some impressive things, including writing for their newsletter or acting as a representative at trade events. When you’re unemployed, it’s often not what you know, but who you know. This is why the importance of networking cannot be stressed enough.

Even if you implement just one of these tips, no one will ever be able to call you unproductive during you unemployment!

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