It's easy to get discouraged if you've been unemployed for a while.

You know that you are a hard worker and are ready to put your efforts towards a fulfilling career, only to not get the job you had hoped for. It's important to stay positive during this time, and to keep moving forward. Avoid sitting around at home feeling sorry for yourself, and instead try some of these tactics that will help you land your next interview.

Keep honing your skills.

Whether you're a writer, salesman, office administrator, or any other profession, keep building on your skills. Follow bloggers in the industry and stay up-to-date on current trends. Consider taking an online class that makes sense for your industry, go to conferences or try doing some freelance work. This way you'll be sharp on your next interview instead of falling behind.

Take on a side project or volunteer work.

Building off of what we said above, taking on some freelance work or even a project just for you will help you in the long run. It keeps you active in your field and is also a great way to network and meet fellow professionals. Volunteering is another great way to meet other professionals and to give back to your community. These actions show hiring managers that you didn't sit back during your unemployment, instead you active sought out opportunities.

Beef up your networking skills.

Update your LinkedIn profile and ensure all your other social profiles are private. Potential employers will look into your profiles when considering you for a role. You can also use these networks to connect with people in your industry. Know an old high school friend that has a great job in your field? Suggest they meet you for coffee. Ask them how they ended up at their company and if they have any tips for you during your search. Follow companies that you are interested and stay up-to-date on their job listings and any important people you should be following. It's easier to connect than ever before, and you have all the social properties at your fingertips.

Staying active by volunteering, networking and continuously working on your skills will not only keep you motivated to reach your goals, it will help fill that gap in your resume. Remember what you are working towards and put some effort towards it each day. You might be surprised how quickly you find your next opportunity.

Learn more on how to handle explaining employment gaps in your resume here.

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