There are many potential reasons why a person may have left the workforce or began to search for a new position. However difficult it may seem to get back into job searching, with a specific focus, landing that all-important interview will be much easier than you'd expect.
According to US News and World Report, one of the best strategies that successful job seekers can have is to keep focused, with specific questions to keep in mind at all times. These include remaining focused on a specific industry you're aiming to enter, the skills and experience you have that will and won't affect your chances for positions in that industry, and any specific professionals who can help you along in your search. Having specific goals, and being able to communicate them to anyone you talk to, will make you appear to be a dedicated and professional worker, which will go far no matter who you talk to.
Becoming disheartened is a major reason why many people have issues dedicating themselves to their job search - instead, developing some structure in your search by starting a new routine can provide drastic benefits. Whether you set up daily or weekly goals, being able to prioritize your activities and manage your time will help in the long run. Additionally, the search can become complicated, and creating a to-do list can help jog your memory at times, ensuring you're able to meet and exceed your regular goals.
The Harvard Business Review adds that it's important to remain honest about your experience. Any periods of unemployment should be addressed regularly in context of the rest of your interview. Covering up these times will backfire in many situations, especially if a hiring manager's opinion of you falls due to a lack of trust. In case you're worried about periods of long unemployment hurting you, assess your resume from an objective angle. Whatever assumptions you find yourself making about gaps will be what others will likely believe as well. From this viewpoint, you can likely find new updates that will better explain these situations.
However, if you're struggling to find employment at a given time, it's a good idea to go something related to your focus that will better display your skills. For example, volunteering can give a directly beneficial boost to almost any resume. Staffing services companies are another resource that can be highly beneficial here, as they can connect you to a contract placement that can improve your resume and your skill set, as well as give plenty of advice about what others have done to find success. Even a hobby or project, such as building a website or researching a topic you're interested in, can come in handy during an interview. Being able to show that you've stayed busy can improve your abilities by a mile.
If your current strategies aren't working, it's better to work with others to see where you can find future improvements. For example, finding friends or family who can review your resume or conduct mock interviews with you can be directly beneficial, as can joining a network of job seekers to find what others have found successful. You'll eventually find a dilemma that you don't know how to overcome, and getting help in such a situation is much better than going it alone.
Objective feedback can be one of the best advantages you can gain in the search, and doing so should involve the help of past managers or mentors. They, too, can offer plenty of information about where you'll want to go next with your search, and they'll likely have plenty of experience and research that can serve as a major aid.