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Long-term unemployed? How to get back into work

Been unemployed for a long time? Here’s how to get back on the career ladder!

Long-term unemployed? How to get back into work

Finding a new job is hard enough for any job seeker. But when you’ve been out of work for a long time, the job hunt gets harder. That’s because employers don’t like unemployment. If you’ve been unemployed for longer than 3 months, you may struggle to get back on the career ladder.

But don’t freak out!

Finding a job after you’ve been unemployed for a while has its challenges. But plenty of people do it! You just need a few tricks up your sleeve.

So check out our tips for getting back into work after you’ve been long-term unemployed.

Reasons for being long-term unemployed

There are lots of reasons for long-term unemployment. Here are a few of the most common reasons:

  • Travel: lots of people take time out from work to travel. This could be on a gap year or on a sabbatical.
  • Career change: if you’ve changed industry or profession, you may have taken time out to study and upskill. It can be difficult to land that first role in your chosen field. 
  • Sickness: physical and mental illnesses are valid reasons to have been out of work for a long time. 
  • Carer responsibilities: when family members fall sick, sometimes we have to become their carers. This is a common reason for long-term unemployment
  • Raising your family: many parents take time out from their career to raise their children during their early years.
  • Being laid off: if you’ve been laid off or made redundant, it’s often unexpected. So it’s perfectly reasonable to have a gap in your employment while you find your feet.

8 ways to find work after long-term unemployment

Update your CV

The first step in getting back into employment is to update your CV. Yes, your CV may not have loads on it. But it’s important to update it anyway. Be sure to explain any gaps in your employment. Be honest here. If you have taken 2 years out to care for your children, write that in your CV.


If you’ve been unemployed for a while, your CV will be a little bare! And that doesn’t give a strong first impression. So try to find some volunteer work to get you back into the professional world. Don’t focus on finding the perfect volunteer job. Just focus on finding some volunteer work where you can learn new skills. This will show employers you’ve been proactive in getting yourself back on the career ladder.


One of the downsides to being unemployed is that you won’t have learnt any new skills at work. But that doesn’t mean you can’t learn new skills OUT of work. Enroll onto some free online courses to upskill. This will brighten up your CV and make you look more attractive to employers.

Contact your old employer

When job hunting, you’ll need all the help you can get. Contact your old employer to see if they’ll be happy to provide a reference. They may be willing to write a reference straight away. If this is the case, you can attach the reference to any jobs you apply for!

Write a cover letter

Cover letters are a great way to boost your job applications. You can add extra detail and really show your passion in a cover letter. When applying for jobs after long-term unemployment, we recommend writing a cover letter!


Networking is a great way to boost your professional profile. Attend events and webinars to get your name out there. As people get to know you, you’ll grow your network and attract more opportunities.

Build a personal brand

It’s not enough just to send a CV these days. To really stand out, you need to build your personal brand. This is your professional image beyond your CV. With a strong personal brand, you’ll show employers the value you have to offer BEFORE you start the job.

Don’t be too picky

After you’ve been unemployed for a long time, it’s important not to be too picky. You might have to take a ‘stepping stone job’. This is a job that helps you get your foot back in the door. It’s not your dream job, but it’s a start.

Ready to get back on the career ladder? Find a job fast with SonicJobs!



5 months ago

No job here


10 months ago

I really need a job @ Peterbough

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