Unemployment: 3 Critical Job Search Tips


When you are unemployed and looking for work, a job search can feel even more pressured-filled. The lack of income and feelings of insecurity make it hard to stay positive and focused on the goal of getting hired.

Related: 5 Things You Should Be Doing If You’re Unemployed

We lack confidence. That’s why the following three critical job search tips will help so much when you are unemployed:

#1 – Avoid negative people at all costs.

Support groups seem great in theory, but are often ineffective in practice. Be selective to which events you attend and be mindful of the company you keep. If you aren’t leaving the events feeling happy and energized, then you shouldn’t go anymore. When looking for work, mindset is everything. It can be hard to stay positive. There’s no need to make it harder on yourself by spending time with people that make your feel worse.

The same applies for friends and family who put you down or make you feel bad about your employment situation. Stay clear of anyone who can’t help you remain positive!

#2 – Get extremely clear on how you are the “aspirin” to an employer’s “pain.”

Getting hired is all about showing an employer how you can save and/or make them enough money to justify hiring you. You must be very compelling. You do that by proving to them that you will alleviate some major pain. Focus in on the problems companies in your industry are experiencing and initiate dialog with as many professionals in your field as you can to discuss this problem and how you solve it. You must brand yourself as a specialist who can add value – a.k.a. be the aspirin to an employer’s pain.

Otherwise, you’ll find your job search stalling from a lack of focus on your part, and a lack of interest on the part of the employers.

#3 – Be proactive!

Applying to endless jobs online is the most ineffective job search tactic and unemployed person can use. You will often be screened out automatically for not currently working.

Is it fair? No. But, it’s reality.

The solution is to meet people and industry events and proactively ask people to set up informational interviews. You must connect with people directly and have meaningful conversations with them, in order to get people to pay attention to you.

That way, you can circumvent the online application process and get referred to jobs directly. This is the single best way an unemployed person can remove the stigma that comes with their employment status. If you get referred by someone, the fact that you aren’t working becomes less important. So, get out there and connect.

Being unemployed is challenging, but it doesn’t mean you can’t find work. It does mean you need to ramp up your efforts and pay close attention to how you are conducting your job search. Follow the tips above and they should help improve the chances of you getting interviews.

Your Next Step

School teaches you everything except how to get the job. You must invest time in learning the right way to job search.

I just finished four new training videos for you – they’re all about executing an easier job search in this economy.

My videos are completely free and I’m confident you’re going to find them useful. The link to access the first one is below.




Related Posts

The 3-Step ‘Beat Unemployment’ Plan
3 Techniques To Fight Unemployment Stigma
Young And Unemployed? 3 Reasons Why You’re Not Getting Hired


Photo Credit: Shutterstock

J.T. O'Donnell

Job Search & Career Expert. Syndicated Speaker & Author. Wife. Mother. CEO of CAREEREALISM Media. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.


  1. Good share. I have got to let you know that I love volunteering and lot of it is on my resume as employers and others at job fairs, interviews, etc notice right away.

    The frustration and discouragement is how as I have sincerely volunteered at places and yet it hasn’t led to a paying job as is desirable and necessary. What hits me even though I am trying to let it not to is how for one full year I volunteered sincerely at the local Crisis Services Center with such reward and liked the people along with sharing relevant articles with superiors at times, yet I still didn’t land any part-time paying job there despite me trying to network well and expressing my interest. I only got one interview for a part-time position which closely resembled my volunteer duties and sent a thank-you note on the very day to all I interviewed with, followed up with interest the next week and still did not get the job.

    It really hurts and gets to me personally when many people emphasize how they have gotten jobs through volunteering sincerely which I have done during the job search, but not getting such. I have also utilized job fairs, gotten interviews through job fairs and contacts outside the place I have volunteered at and still not landed them despite usual prep with career center advisors and following up. I have also registered with 3 or 4 staffing agencies and still haven’t landed anything despite follow-up.

    Please share any things that I can engage in besides the all I have tried. I seriously feel anybody who has sincerely tried all techniques read of with sincere volunteering for 2 years and has not landed a regular, full-time job deserves one finally. Where is the sense of karma and justice? I just don’t get why and how HR at companies where I have been rejected have vaguely said to keep trying without any specific feedback which would be helpful and don’t understand why a facilitator at a job club meeting said to keep networking vaguely when such hasn’t helped?


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