When you’re unemployed, your biggest concern is finding another job, but of equal concern is keeping yourself job-ready. One of the unfair effects of unemployment is that the longer it goes on, the less attractive you appear to potential employers.

The Great Recession left millions of Americans unemployed long-term. Workers were understandably outraged when some employers put the words “unemployed need not reply” in want ads, adding insult to injury. It was the economy not their job performance that was at fault, yet they were being blamed for a situation over which they had no control. While employers’ general bias against hiring people that are unemployed may be understandable, in this instance it has been extremely unfair.Job Ready

Hunting for a job while being unemployed doesn’t doom you to failure, but there are a number of smart things workers can do to keep themselves job-ready until the right opportunity comes along. You can’t erase gaps in your resume caused by recession-driven unemployment or upgrade lesser jobs you may have taken during the recession to stay afloat, but you can enhance your attractiveness to employers by engaging in activities and experiences that demonstrate your determination to develop and hone your work skills.

Employers are impressed by workers that show initiative, perseverance, imagination and a willingness to work hard. To keep yourself job-ready and increase your chances of finding a job, follow these tips:

  • Keep your skills sharp by volunteering your professional services to nonprofit organizations or community groups.
  • Take a class at your local community college that will enhance or broaden your work skills.
  • Accept temporary jobs, freelance work or contract assignments to demonstrate your desire to work.
  • Start your own business on Zoondy (click the link to find out how Zoondy works). Starting your own business demonstrates drive and initiative, two qualities employers look for. Operating your own business also teaches transferrable skills that can broaden your employment horizon and open up new job opportunities.
  • Nurture and expand your professional networks.
  • Make use of social media and blogging to share your professional expertise.