Keeping Your Résumé Fresh During Unemployment

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Unemployment is a problem that does not seem to be going away any time soon. According to CNN, even though the unemployment rate fell in March, it was not because more people found work.The Labor Department says the lower rate is simply a result of fewer people in the labor force.

Searching for a job during unemployment is stressful. One of the many struggles for job seekers during unemployment is to keep up a fresh resume.

If you’ve been out of work for a long time, it is important to start to fill the gaps in your resume. A recent survey asked employers how unemployed job seekers should be spending their time. Some of these ideas include: taking a temporary or contract assignment, taking a class, volunteering, starting your own business, and starting a professional blog. Take from these as starting points to keep your resume relevant and attractive to employers.

Once you’ve looked into filling the gaps, the next step is formatting your resume. Use appropriate keywords in your resume so that it actually gets seen by potential employers. During unemployment, if you’ve been filling your time with temporary projects, a standard chronological resume may not showcase your best experiences. Instead, reorganize your resume to highlight your most relevant experiences and skills.

The worst thing you can do on your resume is lie. You’ll benefit in the long run by being honest. Never exaggerate dates to fill an unemployment gap. Never exaggerate your contributions in a role. Employers will find out you lied and this will make you look worse. The other side of this is to make sure you don’t minimize your accomplishments. Employers will appreciate it when you take credit for your achievements, whether they came from a previous job or a brief volunteered gig during your unemployment.

Employers understand the difficulties of unemployment. They’re not necessarily going to hold it against you. But don’t abandon your resume while you’re unemployed.

Do you have experience with unemployment? What other tips do you have for keeping your resume fresh?

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