While the unemployment rate is much lower than it has been in the recent past, tens of thousands of Americans are still struggling with the reality of long-term unemployment.

The problem with being unemployed for a long period of time is a person starts to look less desirable to potential employers. A September 2014 report from the Brookings Institution said the long-term unemployed have a 20-to-40 percent lower chance of having a full-time job one to two years in the future.

The good news is: low unemployment means it’s a candidate’s market out there, making employers more willing to overlook a gap in employment. Follow these tips to get back into your job search during a time of long-term unemployment:

Keep an optimistic mindset

It’s easy to lose hope when you can’t find a job, but having a negative attitude only exacerbates the problem. Avoid getting depressed by getting enough sleep at night, eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly and seeking emotional support from friends and family.

If you’re having difficulty in the job search, seek out a career coach.  There are plenty of community networks in which job seekers share job search strategies, share leads and network!

Re-evaluate your job hunting strategies

If you’re not getting any traction in the job hunt, consider what you might be doing wrong. You should be spending at least 30 hours a week doing job-seeking or networking activities. Make sure you’re sending out feelers across all your social networks and at various events you might be attending – from family gatherings to former classmates on social media or career fairs at local colleges and public venues.

Also, reassess both your resume and cover letter content by having someone else read both of them and offer advice. There could be a glaring typo or other “no no” that is causing employers to immediately dismiss you as a candidate.

Build your skills

It can be hard to expand your skill set while working a full-time job. Use your new-found free time to learn new skills, take a class or earn a certification. Many companies want people who have certain certifications, and earning one while you’re unemployed shows a prospective employer that you are a self-starter who takes initiative.

Accept a temporary or contract positions

Staffing firms, like Cornerstone Staffing, have a myriad of contract, temporary and temporary-to-hire positions.  Accepting contract work not only reduce gaps in your employment but allow you an invaluable opportunity to network within an organization in which you might want to secure full-time employment.

Our job at Cornerstone is to get you out of the long-term unemployment trap. Simply drop us a line and we can get to work finding you a range of employment opportunities, from part-time positions as a source of income and experience – to the kinds of full-time positions you are working so hard to land.

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