How To Get A Job After Long Unemployment ( Step-by-Step Guide)

Have you been off work for some time? Knowing how to get a job after long unemployment can be tough based on the fact that the job market competition is getting tougher every day.

Maybe you gave birth and had to take care of the child till he grows a bit, or maybe there is an elderly person you had to take care of. Whatever the reasons might be, you should be prepared on how to get yourself a job after a long unemployment.

Don’t know how to get yourself a job after long unemployment? Not to worry, our step by step guide on how to get a job after long unemployment will guide you on the steps to take in landing yourself that dream job of yours.

How to Get a Job after Long Unemployment

Knowing how to get a job after long unemployment will increase your chances of landing yourself a new job after your absence from the workforce.

Below we will be highlighting the key steps to take on how to get a job after long unemployment.

Update your skills

Update your skills should be the first thing to do after a long spell off work. Instead of staying idle while looking for a new job, the best thing you can do for yourself is to update/develop your skills.

 It can be refreshing your technical skills knowledge, or developing advance skills compared to the ones you had before quitting your job.

For instance if you are a Frontend web developer who left his/her job 4 years ago, and you mostly make use of HTML, CSS, JavaScript,  JQuery  when building frontend design for your projects, it is best you update your skill set since JQuery is not used these days the way it was used 4 years ago.

Do temporary work/volunteering

Getting back into the workforce can be a bit difficult no matter the duration of your absence. One good step to take on how to get a job after long unemployment is by finding new contract or temporary work.

If you have updated or relearn your skills, one of the best ways to test what you have learnt so far is by taking some temporary work. It can be doing some temporary work for local shops or small companies around for the main time to brush up and test-run what you will be able to bring into the table when permanently employed.  You can also try some freelancing work or part-time work too.

Apart from taking some temporary work, you can also do some volunteering for any position that is similar to the position you wish to apply for.  The purpose of doing this is to help keep you busy, updated, and gather more experience even if you are now job hunting or still not ready to work.

Have your job documents ready

When it comes to the steps to take on how to get a job after a long employment, having your job documents updated and ready for application shouldn’t be taken for granted. Your cover letter and resume are two important documents that can help you out in securing a job even after a long absence.

Cover Letters

Your cover letter is the first place you want to address your gap in employment and the reasons for your absence in the workforce after a long time.  You can also use it to your advantage to showcase what you have been doing to sharpen your skills, and how you have managed to stay updated in the field despite your absence.

In your cover letter, state your readiness to get back to work, and that the reasons you stopped work has been resolved. If you do not state this, it might ruin your chances of getting a full time job except when applying for a temporal or part-time job. No employer wants to hire and invest in an employee that is not ready or willing to spend some time with the company.

Check out this: Good Cover Letter Examples (7 Sample That Will Get You Hired)


The next important document which is your resume should also be taken into serious consideration when figuring out how to get a job after long unemployment.

When writing your resume, there will be a gap on your work history, and your cover letter should address the gap in your employment history; stating the reasons for your long unemployment and your readiness to get back to work again.

Even at that, there are some changes you can make on your resume that will help you out. Since a gap in your work history on the resume is something to worry about, you can keep the timeframe in years only instead of years and months (write 2 years instead of 2 years and 5 months or 29 months).

You can also structure it in a way that highlights the quality of your experiences rather than the timeframes of your formal employment. The functional resume format highlights key experiences and skills rather than your chronological history of work. Using this resume style can demonstrate to employers that you are qualified for a job even if you have a long gap between positions.

Read on: What to Put on a Resume – 7 Actionable Tips

Contact your network

One crucial step to take on how to get a job after long unemployment is by contacting your network.  Your network is often the fastest way to find a job even after a long unemployment.  It is also one of the most effective means of getting back into the workforce.

Your friends or colleagues can be one of your greatest networks that can help you land a job. In most cases, some will know that you stopped working, others that are not aware you should let them know too. Tel them the reasons and let them know you are job searching and ready to start working so that they can help you out in the job search.

Your former employer can also be a valuable network for you depending on how you left or quit your work. If you left the company in good terms, you might be able to get yourself a job in the same position or another similar position in the company. He/she can also help you out if his/her contacts have an open position that you can fit in. That is why it is best you leave your work in good terms with your employer and company no matter what the reasons might be.

Create new network

A network

Another good step to take on how to get a job after long unemployment is by creating new network. You can attend business fair or vents relating to your career. There you can be able to create new network for yourself. You should also prepare the perfect elevator pitch at all time in order to sell yourself and get them attracted to you.

Apply for more jobs

When it comes to how to get a job after long unemployment, we do advise that you apply for more jobs. It is good to have a dream job in mind or even wish to return to your former job. But the competition for getting a job Is tough and you may be unable to land yourself your dream job at first when you want to return to the workforce.

Apply for a huge volume of positions using different methods. It can be with the use of job search engines, applying directly on a company’s website, using LinkedIn job search, or even mailing employers you know your resume and cover letter.

Invest in Education or become certified

Investing in education while job hunting or during your off-work period can be helpful in developing you as a prominent candidate for a job. You can take free courses online if you don’t have money or go with paid courses or training to be certified.

Just as they say “Learning never ends”, training yourself more will give you an advantage in landing yourself a job.

Now it’s Your Turn

That is it on our step by step guide on how to get a job after long unemployment

Hope you found it helpful?

Have steps do you find more crucial for your job search?

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Accounts Intern Jobs in Lusaka at Mobicom Africa Limited