Five Ways to Make the Most out of Your Time While on Unemployment

Many former employees have a hard time finding something productive to do with their time while they are receiving unemployment benefits. The first thing that the majority of former Virginia employees do after receiving unemployment benefits is update their resume so they can look for jobs. While this is certainly a productive use of their time, former employees can only spend so much time each day searching for work and writing cover letters.

There are many different things that unemployment beneficiaries can do while they are on unemployment that will help them find a job. It is important that unemployment beneficiaries consider at least some of these options, otherwise they may end up with long gaps in their resume that make it significantly harder to find work. There are also some tasks that will help with finding better employment that are much easier to perform while job seekers are receiving unemployment benefits in Virginia.

Spend Time Volunteering

One of the hardest things about being on unemployment comes from resume gaps. Resume gaps refer to any period of time where job seekers are not working, resulting in a gap in employment that is visible on their resume. The fear that many job seekers have regarding resume gaps is that potential employers will worry that the applicant is either lazy, or they were not skilled enough to find work. Other times, job seekers worry that a long resume gap will make the interviewer question whether or not the job seekers skills have declined from being unemployed for so long.

An easy way to avoid having a resume gap is through volunteering. Volunteers can list their charity work on their resumes, and it may even give them chances to list skills they did not already have on their resumes. For example, charity work usually involves working with other volunteers, or directly helping people in the community. Both of these activities allow volunteers to list teamwork and communication skills on their resume.

Volunteers also show potential employers how willing they are to work. Another advantage with volunteering is networking. Many nonprofit groups do work with large businesses in Virginia. By performing volunteer work, volunteers have the chance to do a lot of networking and directly apply for jobs with companies that have already seen how hard the volunteer is willing to work. Even if volunteers do not end up working directly with another company, working with a nonprofit can help volunteers network with businesses in the state.

Finally, volunteering also helps build confidence for job seekers. Many unemployment beneficiaries feel bad after losing their jobs, especially if they have been struggling to find new work. Volunteer work is a great way to give back to the community, which in turn makes volunteers feel better about themselves for doing something so positive with their time.

Improve Job Visibility

Job seekers often focus their attention on sending out resumes, but this is not the only way to find work. Another way that job seekers can get employed is by creating a visible presence for themselves. There are a couple of different ways to do this in Virginia. One way is to use Virginia job search programs. Many of these programs, especially online ones, allow job seekers to directly post their resumes for other companies to view.

Depending on the job, it may actually be easier to get hired by posting online resumes for the company to find. For example, companies that are looking to fill specific niche roles may not want to bother putting up a job listing. It is often easier to specifically seek out candidates instead of interviewing dozens of candidates with the hopes of finding someone to fulfill a specialized position.

Develop New Skills

Sometimes the best thing that job seekers can do while receiving unemployment benefits is take classes to develop new skills. Many community colleges in Virginia offer workshops to help develop a number of useful skills. This is a great way for job seekers to brush up on their skills and justify a resume gap.

Job seekers should look at careers they are interested in before they take any classes. Looking at careers in advance, job seekers can better map out which classes to take that will give them the best chance of getting employed in that field while having room to advance. Job seekers who are unsure of what sort of career they want can always benefit from taking generalized classes. For example, learning another language or taking a computer course will apply to a number of job fields.

Contract or Temporary Work

Something that many unemployment beneficiaries do not realize is that they can continue to receive their benefits, even if they are doing temporary, part-time work in Virginia. Many job seekers focus on finding permanent jobs, but sometimes it is easier to get hired for temporary work. Having temporary jobs is another good way to develop skills and avoid resume gaps. Depending on the job, temporary work is also a way to start networking. Some companies post temporary work with the intention of hiring the workers on as fulltime employees based on their performance.

Take Time to Relax

Many job seekers have a hard time doing things for themselves while receiving unemployment benefits. It is important to take time to relax and enjoy yourself while on unemployment. You need to maintain a positive attitude, otherwise they will become stressed and overwhelmed with looking for work. Even if you do manage to get interviews, you will have a difficult time making a good first impression if you are overly stressed and have not been taking care of yourself.