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GET THE JOB | MIND YOUR MANNERS Job Hunting While Unemployed T here are many reasons why Americans find themselves unemployed. Perhaps a company downsized a position, shut down or simply terminated employment. Regardless of the reason, job hunting without a job presents sizable hurdles. Fill the Gaps One of the biggest challenges for unemployed job hunters is the gap on their resumes. There are ways to strategically fill the gaps and using your free time to make a difference. Here are some beneficial tips from the UCLA Student and Alumni Services. If you lost your job: Be professional and mature about why you were terminated. Negative words about a previous employer will almost always be a deal breaker. Express your gratitude for the opportunity and what you learned from the experience. If you went back to school: Take advantage by explaining you took a break from your career to focus on expanding your educational goals. If you took care of family: Explain the general situation without being too personal. Perhaps, you had a new child, or a family member became ill. Showcase things you learned while you were being a caretaker and how it benefits you professionally. Join a Group There are likely many others in your community who found themselves in the same position. Network with other job-hunters to discover leads and offer support to one another. To find like-minded people, reach out on social media, at events like career fairs or at a public library. Encouraging others to land a position will also give you motivation. Find a Job Fair An opportunity to get your qualifications in the hands of many different hiring managers is to attend a local job fair. You get the chance to explain your unemployment in a face-toface setting without waiting on a scheduled interview.