Can’t find a job and wondering how that could be possible in an economic boom? No matter how great the economy is, there’s always going to be a certain rate of unemployment. People will graduate from school, leave the military, move to new cities, quit jobs, finish seasonal work, wrap up temporary work, transition from full-time parenting and so on. Economists call this the natural unemployment rate.
When it takes you time to find a job, but you eventually do get work, economists call your job search time “frictional unemployment”. Sometimes, it takes a while to find a position that matches your unique skills, abilities, interests, experience and education.
If you can’t find a job, you may need to take steps to market yourself. By making yourself a better fit with the job market, you can tap into the surging economy.
10 ways to make yourself more employable
1. Carry out a personal skills inventory. Take stock of what you have to offer employers.
2. If you’ve experienced a career set back, take some time to look after yourself and recover. You may need to reframe the experience.
3. Review labour market information. Compare yourself to what employers seek. Do you need to gain more experience or education? Could you target a different market?
4. Develop a career portfolio, including a resume and cover letter.
5. Use a variety of job search tools. Newspapers, job sites, recruitment companies, resume databases, networking groups, alumni associations and word-of-mouth are just some of the ways to find out about jobs.
6. Learn how to search job databases. If you use a narrow set of terms, you may not uncover all the jobs for which you qualify.
7. Read job ads carefully. Be sure to target the terms and qualifications mentioned by employers when you write your resume and cover letter.
8. Network with people online and offline (in person and via phone) to expand your knowledge of the job market. Some of those people may also point you to positions.
9. Manage your online brand. Make sure employers find positive results when they look for you online.
10. Keep looking. If you stop looking for work, you’ll be limiting your ability to find a job.