Table of content:

  1. Looking for work is better than being unemployed
  2. Recruitment consultants make the search easier
  3. Be clear about your skills
  4. Time for self-reflection
  5. Further training increases your market value

Have you lost your job or taken time off? There are many reasons for unemployment. You can use this time in many ways – whether for job hunting, further training or simply to take a deep breath. It is important not to see temporary unemployment as a shortcoming but as an opportunity for change. An optimistic attitude is important in this phase of life.

“I had to make my own experiences with unemployment. After I resigned from a well-known company, I was at home for 1 year. The market had changed rapidly during covid and I had a hard time getting back into it at the beginning. Not losing your confidence is a challenge during this time.” 

Margaux Sauvage, Marketing Manager LHC International

Nowadays, companies no longer see temporary unemployment as a deficit. Rather, it is now about how applicants deal with this phase of life. Whereas in the past, straight CVs and a strict “red thread” were the order of the day, today it is allowed to be a little more creative with rough edges. People applying for unemployment often have the same questions:

  • Should unemployment be a topic in my application?
  • How can I best “sell” the current phase of my life to a potential new employer?
  • How do I stay optimistic and motivated?

Tip: 1 – Looking for work is better than being unemployed

The developments of digitalisation have worked in your favour. Many personnel decision-makers are satisfied with a digital CV because long cover letters are less in demand today due to a notorious lack of time. Therefore, list factually in your CV how long you have been looking for work. Make sure you use the right wording: “Unemployed” sounds much more negative to many people than “looking for work“. If you need a cover letter, you do not need to explicitly mention your unemployment – a sentence like “In my last job I was responsible for …” is sufficient.

However, the point here is not to conceal the gap in your CV. Rather, you should focus on the experience and skills that are important for the job. In the interview, you can always go into more detail about the periods without a job.

Tip: 2 – Recruitment consultants make the search easier

Are you unsure whether you can “market” your unemployment properly? Get support and contact a recruitment agency that specialises in your sector.  In most cases, a CV is sufficient to apply for a job with a personnel service provider. The recruiter will then check with you if he/she notices any gaps or misunderstandings in your curriculum vitae (CV). They will also know how best to mention your unemployment – especially in the interview.

  1. Have an open and honest exchange with your recruiter.
  2. Inform your circle of acquaintances that you are currently looking for work – maybe someone knows where there are vacancies.
  3. Research which sectors are in demand at the moment – your profile may also fit into areas that you did not think of at first.

Tip: 3 – Be clear about your skills

Don’t make your unemployment your main motivation for looking for a job – along the lines of “I’m unemployed, I need money badly, I’ll take any job.” You might get lucky, but most of the time it goes wrong. Often the first job that comes along turns out not to be so exciting and suitable after all. Take your time and get clear about your own goals. Show what you can offer the company and what benefits they will gain from hiring you.

Tip: 4 – Time for self-reflection

Your self-confidence may suffer if you find yourself unemployed. Also, are you constantly getting rejections? It’s getting to you. You may even blame yourself and your skills.

Stop your mental merry-go-round and use the unemployment period for self-reflection.

Here are some questions that will help you:

  • What can I productively occupy myself with at the moment – voluntary work, further education, or self-study?
  • What conclusions do I draw for the future from the separation from my last employer?
  • What do I have to offer that distinguishes me from other applicants?
  • What have I already achieved?
  • What tasks suit me?
  • Where can I still improve?
  • Where do I want to go, and what do I particularly enjoy doing?
  • When applying for a job from unemployment, the most important thing is to have a positive attitude. Don’t adopt a victim attitude but focus on the opportunities the future holds for you.

Tip 5 – Further training increases your market value

Are you passionately interested in a particular professional topic, but never had the time to attend a seminar, workshop, or other continuing education programs? Now is the time. In some cases, the costs are even covered by the Federal Employment Agency. By participating, you not only gain new knowledge and fill the gap in your CV. Above all, you also polish your self-confidence and signal to the employer that you are acting on your initiative and are willing to learn new things.

Volunteering is also a meaningful occupation. It shows that you are not discouraged by setbacks, that you stay on the ball, and that you are determined – qualities that employers appreciate and that can be reflected in a higher salary package.

Important: False statements in the application documents are taboo. Therefore, only list courses and offers that you have taken part in.

Do you need help with your return to the labour market? At LHC International we have already helped hundreds of applicants from the Hospitality, Real Estate, IT, Finance, Sales & Marketing sectors to find new jobs. Contact us now and benefit from the years of experience of our staff – without obligation and completely free of charge for you!

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LHC International is a leading executive search firm for the hospitality and operational real estate industry.