1. Buff Those Skills On The Resume
You have nowhere to be this whole afternoon, this whole, day, this whole week — so take advantage of it! Go down your resume and see what skills you can buff with new courses, books, or seminars, and get to updating. Or even better yet, take this time to fill the holes you didn’t have time to work on while you were doing the nine to five grind.
Lifestyle writer Kat Boogaard from lifestyle site The Everygirl pointed out, “…if you’ve always wanted to improve your coding skills, sign up for a course at your a technical college. Or, attend a seminar or lecture that covers a topic you’ve been meaning to learn more about. Not only do these events present an opportunity to refine your skills , but they’re also an effective way to meet new people who could potentially help you in your job search!”
Not only will it make your resume 10 times more impressive, but you might actually find the link to your next job if you get out of the house!
2. Start Networking Like It’s Your Job
Speaking of getting out of the house, you need to start networking like your life depended on it. Yes, it might be awkward to crash an event where people stand around in pencil skirts and eat finger foods while they talk shop, but the more connections you make the easier it will be to find your next dream job. Think about it: It’s a lot easier to get an interview when somebody personally recommends you than it is sending a resume via an email.
Boogaard encouraged, “Many community organizations host networking events for local professionals , so check out when a few of those are happening in your area. Reach out to some of your past mentors and contacts to set up a coffee date. Or, contact a company that you really admire to set up an informational interview.” Fill your planner up with all sorts of meetings and events!
3. Come Up With Ideas On How Your Next Company Will Slay
Want to impress your interviewers when you come striding into their office? Take your down time while job hunting to think up of new ideas how you can contribute to the next company you’ll work for. And go all out: Don’t just come up with vague plans, but draft and organize them as if you’d have to present them to the boss tomorrow morning.
Leadership writer Jacquelyn Smith at Forbes offered, “Whether it’s an idea for a marketing campaign, new revenue stream, cost savings, etc., the candidates who show up at an interview with ideas demonstrate that they are passionate, knowledgeable, and excited about the opportunity.” Take out the thinking pad!
4. Beef Up Your Portfolio
If you feel like it’s been weeks since you got a decent call-back, it might be time to do some free work in order to beef up your portfolio and gain relevant experience.
Business writer Jayson Demers at the entrepenuer site Inc recommended, “Taking on short-term unpaid (or low-paying) gigs can give you additional experience in your chosen specialty, and can increase your chances of being the perfect candidate for your dream job.” Volunteer at events, offer to write articles, take on small freelance gigs — do what ever is relevant and available for your industry.
5. Start A Blog
If you take your down time as a chance to become a known expert in your field, you can only imagine how excited employers would be to meet you at the interview. Create a blog and start gathering a community where you report on and discuss what’s happening in the industry, asserting yourself as a key player.
Smith explained, “Eleven percent of the surveyed employers said a professional blog can be a good way to market yourself to employers . Why? You get people to see you as an expert in your field.” Even if no one reads the blog, at the very least it’ll be a great motivator to keep learning about your industry and keeping your finger on the pulse on what’s happening.