Unemployed for over a year? Here’s how to get a job.

by | 08.12.23

Although getting back into work can be challenging there are some things that can help you to get a job. It doesn’t matter why you haven’t worked, it could be because you have been raising children or maybe you’ve had health issues, it could just be that you have been unable to find a job. It doesn’t matter why what does matter is how you successfully get back into the workplace and how you explain the break in your career. Here are some tips:

Access your marketability

Assessing your skills and marketability is one of the first things you should do after a period out of the workplace. This will enable you to determine which employers might be interested in employing you. To do this make a list of the skills and experience you have obtained in previous jobs.

Determine your expectations

Determining your expectations is essential to making sure when you get a new job you stay in it and are happy. Decide what hours you can work, what commute you are prepared to do, what salary you can afford to take and what sort of job your skills and experience qualifies you for. Once you know this your job search will be easier.

Reflect on your break

Was there anything you did during your break that could help you with your job search? For instance did you do any voluntary work, help out in the local area or support any charities? This information could be included on your CV and also talked about in interview. It shows you as an industrious and proactive person who spends their time wisely.

Update your skills and knowledge

This is an important step and something you definitely need to do. If you want to get back into a similar role to the one you held before you may have to find out what’s new in that field. Basic training like updating your knowledge on software systems and perhaps doing fundamental accounts and customer service courses are really good. They are all available online and all positive things you can put on your CV.

Talk to people

Before you start your proper job search start my telling former colleagues, friends and relatives that you are looking for work. Also get on LinkedIn if you aren’t on it already and advertise the fact you are looking for employment. Networking with people you know is a good way of finding employment, employers love sourcing people this way.

Prepare your CV

Because you have had a break from the workplace your CV is not going to look great however you can make it look reasonable. For instance update it from the last job you had like this: 1st January 2023 – To Date, During this period I was not in the workplace however I spent my time improving my skills and doing voluntary work. This way it won’t look as if you have done nothing but watch day time TV for a year. List whatever you have been doing perhaps you have had a baby, maybe you’ve been ill. Whatever you’ve been up to put it down and allow the employer to decide whether they want to see you or not.

Start looking for a job

There are plenty of places nowadays to look for employment, try the Job Centre, Employment Agencies and online Job Portals. There are thousands of jobs being advertised every day but remember to only apply for suitable ones, never be tempted to randomly send out your CV willy nilly. You are always going to have more success when you apply for a job similar to the last role you had.

Write a cover letter

Ensure you send a short but nice cover letter with your CV. Introduce yourself and explain again why you have not been working, don’t dwell on this concentrate on selling yourself and the skills and experience you will be able to bring to the role. Make sure to mention that you are excited about the opportunity and are free at anytime for an interview.

Prepare for your interview

Once you are invited for an interview it’s important that you prepare for it. Definitely research the Company, make sure you fully understand what they do or what their products are. Ensure you know where you are going if it is a face to face interview or have a room prepared if the interview is online. Finally make sure you are dressed professionally even if the interview is online, smart office wear is essential.

Sell yourself at the interview

You’ve got a chance at an interview to get a job offer but in order to get one you need to sell yourself. You need to convince the employer that you are perfect for their job and have a great deal to offer in the workplace. You will be asked about the gap in your career so be prepared to explain it and make sure you do so as positively as possible.

So to summarise a break in your career of over one year makes your job search difficult, but not impossible, you just have to work a little bit harder. You will also be expected to explain the gap so make sure to either have or are now doing something, the one thing employers frown upon are candidates who have done nothing at all – that won’t make you an attractive employee.

Good Luck

Angela Burton