It does seem to be the way, that it is easier to find a new job when you’re still working. There’s some research to support that feeling, with a study showing that job hunters who are employed tend to receive half of the offers on the table, versus those unemployed who get just 16 per cent.

Why is this? Well, employed people are seen as currently engaged in the workforce, which might imply to employers that they have recent work experience, are up-to-date with industry trends, and are actively contributing to their field. Employers might also see candidates with jobs as lower-risk, are there is the assumption that these individuals are currently meeting job expectations and are more likely to seamlessly transition into a new role.

Still, with 750,000 jobs and counting lost over the past 3 years, you are certainly not alone if you find yourself out of work and searching for your next opportunity. So, what is the best way to find a job while unemployed? We’ve got you.

Here are 5 tips for job searching while unemployed:

  1. Stay positive
  2. Boost your skills
  3. Volunteer
  4. Keep up to date
  5. Find your expert

1. Stay Positive

It might be easier said than done, but it’s really important to maintain a positive outlook during your job search. Viewing this as an opportunity to not just find a new job, but the right job, can help change your approach. You won’t apply for jobs you don’t want or aren’t qualified for, because your focus will be on searching for the best opportunity. Remember that you can be selective.

A positive attitude also increases your likelihood of performing well during an interview. Recruiters and hiring managers will speak to people all day long, and they’ll remember the conversations they enjoyed versus those that were challenging. Your attitude is one of the first things interviewers notice, so a happy, positive and enthusiastic mannor will create a great first impression, making you a more memorable and favourable candidate.

Employers often consider cultural fit when interviewing candidates, and a positive attitude can signal that you are likely to align with the company's values and culture, increasing your appeal as a candidate.
Employers often consider cultural fit when interviewing candidates, and a positive attitude can signal that you are likely to align with the company’s values and culture, increasing your appeal as a candidate.

2. Boost Your Skills

A recent study showed that 39 per cent of people are considering a career change following the events of 2020. If you’re included in that number, think about the skills you’d need to make this happen, and use your free time to develop yourself. In a competitive job market, having up-to-date skills and qualifications will set you apart from other candidates, and employers really value those who continuously invest in their professional development and skillset. Boosting your skills can also open doors to higher-paying job roles that require specific expertise and potential career advancement opportunities.

Assess your current skillset and identify gaps that can be filled. At the same time, determine which skills are most in demand in your industry or the field you’re targeting, and consider the qualifications or professional accreditations which may help to prove your new skills. This will also give you something else to focus on, and is a good sign to employers that you are willing to improve and grow.

Don’t be afraid to take advantage of online learning platforms and resources such as the Open University, Google Digital Academy and LinkedIn Learning.

Online learning platforms offer a wide range of courses, often with options for free or low-cost enrollment.

3. Volunteer

Another way to show your willingness to keep active and involved is to volunteer your time. Again, this will give you something else to focus on while unemployed, and you’re likely to learn new, valuable skills along the way too.

Volunteering within your field can be a great way to network, particularly for jobseekers with limited experience, or those hoping to change fields.

Volunteering Examples:

  • Tutoring
  • Charity volunteering
  • Volunteering for the community i.e. food banks, homeless shelters etc.
  • Tech support volunteering
  • Youth sports volunteering
  • Environmental and wildlife volunteer
Volunteering can be a valuable strategy to help your job search and increase your chances of getting hired.

4. Keep Up to Date

Don’t shy away from your networks or be embarrassed to admit you are out of work. Instead, keep in touch with people and put your contacts to good use in order to unearth more opportunities. Standing out on LinkedIn is a fantastic way to connect with people in your industry and get your name and skillset out there

This will also help you to keep informed regarding job trends and search strategies. And, if you expand your network to include hiring managers at relevant organisations, and expert recruiters within your field, you’ll have additional people looking for your next role alongside you.

5. Find Your Expert

Recruiters have witnessed an influx of new candidates this year and, while a good recruiter will always get back to you, you can get a few steps ahead by partnering with the right experts from the outset.

At CPS Group, we only place qualified candidates within the tech sector, because we believe that specialist = expert. If you’re looking for a new role within tech, get in touch today, or for roles within finance, HR, marketing and sales contact our sister company, Faulkner Scott.

For more tips and insights into the recruitment world, check out our career advice blog