Great Resumes Fast » Job Search » Maintaining Your Confidence During a Prolonged Job Search

A year or two ago, pretty much everyone knew someone who had been laid off.  That thought was scary enough, but now, most people know someone who has been out of full-time work for a year or more.  If you’re one of the people who’s been displaced from the job market for a long while now, you know the emotional toll that prolonged unemployment brings.

Many of us identify ourselves through our jobs and our careers.  We make certain assumptions about new people based on whether they’re a doctor or a secretary.  However, not being able to identify yourself as any particular kind of employee presents a whole new challenge to your personal identity at a time when you can little afford to lose confidence in yourself.  How can you keep your spirits up during a prolonged job search?


Networking with other job seekers allows you to realize that there are many bright, competent people in the very same position in which you find yourself.  Although these people may also have been searching for work for a long time, you may be able to exchange tips that you’ve discovered along the way.  Networking with professionals who are employed can also offer a confidence boost.  Getting out in the community and talking with other people in your field will help you feel like your old self again. If you’re fortunate, you can also gather information that can help you in your job search.


When no one is paying you a salary in exchange for your skills, it’s easy to start thinking those skills aren’t valuable.  Volunteering your talents for causes that matter to you can stop this negative thinking in its tracks.  In addition to being able to see that your efforts are making a difference, volunteer work often reminds us that there are many in the world who are less fortunate, helping us to be grateful for what we have.  As an added bonus, volunteer work strengthens your resume during a period of unemployment or underemployment.  If you organize 50 college alumni in your area to contribute to a $5,000 scholarship for a current student, you will not only change that student’s life, but you will gain an easily quantifiable achievement to add to your resume.


Networking and volunteering both involve spending time with other people, but often those people are professional contacts rather than close friends or family.  Throughout your job search, it’s important to keep yourself surrounded by the people who know you best—for more than just your job title.  Your loved ones know about the time you won your 3rd-grade spelling bee or pulled together a flawless football tailgate with two hours’ notice.  Reminders of your little victories in life provide a ray of sunshine when you’re faced with a stack of rejection letters.

Surround yourself with people who keep your spirits up—stay confident out there!

Visit our blog for more job search advice, resumes, volunteering and online networking. You can also view professionally-written resume samples at


About Great Resumes Fast Product Templates MRP-3882

About the author

Jessica Hernandez, President, CEO & Founder of Great Resumes Fast

Hi, I’m Jessica. I started this company back in 2008 after more than a decade directing hiring practices at Fortune 500 companies.

What started as a side hustle (before that was even a word!) helping friends of friends with their resumes has now grown into a company that serves hundreds of happy clients a year. But the personal touch? I’ve kept that.

You might have seen me featured as a resume expert in publications like Forbes, Fast Company, and Fortune. And in 2020, I was honored to be named as a LinkedIn Top Voice of the year!

I’m so glad you’re here, and I can’t wait to help you find your next perfect-fit position!


  1. John Hadley on September 18, 2010 at 12:48 pm

    This is such an important topic!

    I met someone who had been out of work for 2 years, and naturally was deeply depressed. This had created a downward spiral where he had essentially stopped networking.

    The first thing we had to do was rebuild his own confidence in the package he had to offer potential employers, getting him deeply in touch with why someone should be excited about his accomplishments. Then we used that to construct an engaging ‘HERO Story’ about that package.

    (See for a template for this.)

    Finally, we got him out there talking to people, building the spider web of contacts that could help him land. And that’s exactly what he did – right back in the type and level of job he wanted. Plus, he regained enough confidence to use a simple technique I taught him for salary negotiation, and earned an extra $10,000 in base pay.

    Related to your confidence is your ability to stay positive – for more on this, see


Leave a Comment

Improve Your Resume: Download Your Free Executive Resume Template Today

Are you struggling to create an executive resume that will impress employers? Download this free executive resume template and receive a series of 10 emails with expert guidance on how to write resume content that resonates with employers so you get more interviews.

It's everything you need to stand out, make an impression, and accelerate your job search.