In today’s competitive job market, bouncing back from long-term unemployment can be a daunting task. Whether you’ve been on a hiatus, faced personal challenges, or had a challenging time finding work due to economic downturns, it’s essential to approach your job search with confidence and strategy. In this article, we will provide you with actionable steps for reentering the workforce and securing meaningful employment, even after a prolonged absence. Let’s get started!


Before diving into the job market, take a moment to assess your current skills and qualifications.

  • Identify gaps: What skills or knowledge might you be lacking compared to current job market demands?
  • Upskill: Consider taking online courses or attending workshops to enhance your skill set. Websites like Coursera or Udemy offer a plethora of courses in various fields. Here at Generation, we partner with employers to reskill workers for new, in-demand roles, either at their current workplace or in a different industry altogether. Explore our free employment programs today to see how we can help you build skills and gain employment!


Your CV or resume is the first impression you’ll make on potential employers, so it’s crucial to get it right.

  • Focus on achievements: Highlight any accomplishments or projects you’ve worked on during your unemployment.
  • Include freelance or voluntary work: If you’ve done any freelance or voluntary work during your break, be sure to include it.
  • Highlight relevant skills: Consider using a functional CV format, which emphasizes skills over chronological work history.


Networking is a powerful tool in the job search process, especially when you’ve been out of the loop for a while.

  • Reconnect: Reach out to former colleagues, friends, or acquaintances in your industry.
  • Join professional groups: Websites like LinkedIn have numerous groups related to specific industries or job roles.
  • Attend seminars or workshops: These can be excellent places to meet potential employers or get referrals.


Being out of the job market for a while might mean you’re out of practice when it comes to interviews.

  • Research: Familiarise yourself with the latest trends and developments in your industry.
  • Practice with mock interviews: Practice with a friend or family member to get feedback and improve.
  • Address the gap: Be prepared to discuss your unemployment period. Frame it positively, focusing on what you learned or achieved during that time.


If you’re finding it challenging to secure a full-time position immediately in the role you want, it can help to take a step back and re-evaluate your options.

  • Start small: Temporary or part-time roles can be a stepping stone to full-time employment. Likewise, entry-level roles can be an essential part of your progression to a more advanced position.
  • Gain experience: These roles can help you get back into the rhythm of working and update your CV with recent experience.


Rejection is a part of any job search, more so if you’ve been unemployed for a long time.

  • Stay resilient: Don’t get disheartened by rejections. Each ‘no’ brings you one step closer to a ‘yes’.
  • Seek feedback: If you’re not selected after an interview, politely ask for feedback. This can provide valuable insights for your next application.


There are many organizations and agencies that offer support and guidance for individuals returning to work after long-term unemployment.

  • Recruitment agencies: They can provide tailored advice and access to job opportunities that might not be publicly advertised.
  • Career counselors: They can offer guidance on career paths, CV writing, and interview techniques.

If you’re looking for structured support in your job search, consider exploring employment programs from Generation! We offer various programs tailored to help individuals like you transition back into the workforce with confidence. Our free employment programs offer hands-on work experience in various fields, online and offline, in 17 countries around the world.

Through our programs, adults of all ages — whether unemployed, underemployed, or needing to learn new skills — can access training, support, and a path to meaningful employment. We are here to help you succeed! Developing skills through employment programs like ours can help you become more competitive in the job market and increase your earning potential. Plus, we’ll connect you with employers who are hiring for the exact roles you’ve been trained to do. Learn more about employment program offerings near you!

Returning to the workforce after long-term unemployment is undoubtedly challenging, but with determination, upskilling, and the right approach, it’s entirely achievable. Remember, everyone’s career path is unique, and there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Stay positive, be persistent, and believe in yourself.

Don’t let long-term unemployment define your career. Take the next step in your job search journey by exploring employment programs at Generation. Your next opportunity awaits!

At Generation, our mission is to train, support, and place people into otherwise inaccessible career opportunities that can change their lives. Explore our employment programs to see how we can help you, or donate today to help us create career opportunities for our learners!