Searching for a Job When You Don’t Have a Job

Job Searching While Unemployed

How do you look for a job when you don’t have a job? What is the best way to position yourself?

Some people might tell you that being currently unemployed will cause employers to automatically pass on your resume. This isn’t true, since most companies today are looking to hire people with the right skills and cultural fit, regardless of their current employment situation. However, it does mean that you have to work a bit harder at strategically selling yourself.

Related: For tips on how to position yourself on LinkedIn check out LinkedIn Title When You Are Unemployed?

Selling Yourself When You Don’t Have a Job

Here are five ways to make yourself stand out and impress hiring managers.

Treat Your Job Search Like a Job

Your top priority is finding a job. Set aside time every day to work on this. Educate yourself on the best ways to getting a job. Reading this article is a great way to do just that!

Other activities that will keep your job search active include:

  • Get a professional critique of your resume. (Shameless plug, I know–but it really can help you shorten your job search–and the critique is free, so you have nothing to lose.)
  • Get a LinkedIn Makeover–it will also help.
  • Reach out to employers and professional contacts.
  • Schedule meetings with people working in your field.
  • Attend networking events.

Stay Busy and Beef up Your Resume

It’s important to stay busy for your own sanity as well as the success of your job search. It’s also important when explaining to hiring managers that you are involved and active and staying busy. It’s shows initiative, self-education, and time management, at the very least.

Some suggestions on ways to use your time wisely include:

  • Freelance/volunteer work (in or out of your industry)
  • Take classes to fine-tune your skills or enhance your education
  • Exercise and take care of yourself so you feel good and can handle the stress of not working, the job search, and starting a new job.


Ok, I am repeating myself here, but it is really really important. Use every weapon at your disposal including:

  • Network online (including LinkedIn, Social Media, etc.)
  • Join professional groups
  • Targeting companies you are interested in working for and contact them directly
  • Tell everyone that you know you are looking for a job and be specific about what you are looking for and how they can help you.
  • Contact recruiters who specialize in your industry

Join Other Job Seekers

Staying in touch with other job seekers and helping each other out is a great way to stay active and positive about your job search. Even if some of the other seekers aren’t in your field–you may still be able to help each other. Since you all have your networking radar tuned to high and job search on the brain you may come across information that may help someone else–and wouldn’t that feel good?

Related: Top Job Search Tools for 2017

Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up

I do like to repeat myself, but only when I think the information is important enough–and it is, in this case. Don’t let any opportunity slip by, even if it may be a long shot, and always follow up any interaction. A well timed and well written Thank You Note might just land you the job.

Good luck, and happy hunting!

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