70 Resources for Navigating Long-Term Unemployment and Finding Your Next Job

People facing long-term unemployment have complex needs including securing unemployment benefits, finding a job and working with social workers to navigate the uncertainty of the labor market. OnlineMSWPrograms.com has compiled a list of resources that can help workers of various ages and skill levels who are searching for employment. 

In This Article:

Unemployment Benefits and Assistance

Unemployment Help, USA.gov: A central page of resources provided by the federal government for people looking for a job.

How to Apply for Unemployment Insurance, U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL): Answers to frequently asked questions about applying for unemployment benefits.

Essential Needs, United Way: A comprehensive source of locally curated social services in the U.S. and Canada, including a 24/7 text and phone line.

Benefit Finder, Benefits.gov: A searchable site of government benefits organized by category, with a questionnaire for new users to find what they’re looking for.

How to Apply for Unemployment Benefits in Every State, AARP: An alphabetical list of the application portal and phone number for each state’s unemployment office.

Help for Families, Office of Family Assistance: A portal to each state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) application and office information.

Termination, USDOL: Resources that explain your rights and benefits if your job is terminated, including unemployment insurance, severance and veterans’ re-employment rights.

USA.gov Contact Center, USA.gov: The contact center for speaking with a live federal agent about benefits, services and programs based on an individual’s needs.

COBRA Continuation Coverage, USDOL: Resources for workers, families and employers that explain options for continuing health care coverage after the loss of a job.

Self-Employment Assistance, USDOL: An explanation of the self-employment assistance program, including eligibility, benefits and filing a claim.

Guide to Unemployment and Taxes, TurboTax: A guide for reporting unemployment benefits as taxable income, including required forms and examples of properly completed tax reports.


Creating a Resume and Cover Letter

Develop Resumes and Cover Letters, Career One Stop: A step-by-step list for updating or building a resume.

Writing a Resume, LinkedIn Learning: A video explaining the basic components of a resume, layout, formatting, and design choices.

Resume and Letter Writing, University of California, Berkeley: A guide for creating a resume, including 25 sample resumes and a video workshop for editing an existing resume.

Writing Your Federal Resume, GoGovernment.org: Tips to create a resume to apply for a federal government job.

Sample Federal Resume (PDF, 94KB), U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission: An example of a properly for/matted resume for a federal government job application.

How to Write a Resume that Will Actually Get a Recruiter’s Attention, LinkedIn Learning: An article and video series that explain strategies for making a resume stand out to a recruiter.

Preparing Effective Cover Letters, The American Library Association: A list of videos, articles and tip sheets for writing cover letters and knowing when to use them.

14 Resume Strategies for Recent Graduates, The Job Network: A list of 14 tips for college graduates creating new resumes, including a strong sample resume.

Resumes and Cover Letters, Indeed: Resources related to resumes and cover letters.


Job Applications and Interviews

Preparing to Interview, Career One Stop: A list of considerations and strategies for preparing for a job interview.

Job Application Overview, Purdue Writing Lab: A guide to frequently asked questions about job applications, including sections for veterans and formerly incarcerated people.

The Ultimate Job Interview Preparation Guide, GlassDoor: A comprehensive guide to preparing for an interview, including the 50 most common interview questions and advice from recruiters.

5 Types of Questions You Should Ask in A Job Interview, Forbes: A list of categories and examples of specific questions to ask and avoid.

Video Interview Tips,  LinkedIn Learning: A video that explains how to prepare for a virtual interview, including proper equipment, environment and first impressions.

How to Format a List of Professional References, The Balance Careers: A comprehensive explanation of what to include and how to organize professional references on a job application.

Asking for a Letter of Recommendation, Indeed: A step-by-step guide to asking for professional recommendations from professors, employers, teachers and colleagues, including a sample request letter.

Interviewing, Indeed: A list of interviewing resources curated by Indeed’s Career Guide.


Networking and Building Connections

Networking, Career One Stop: A list of articles on specific topics, like informational interviews, developing contacts, and networking online.

Professional Networking, LinkedIn Learning: A video guide to networking strategies for connecting authentically, even for introverted people.

Networking: Making Career Connections, Cornell University: Strategies for recent graduates looking for advice on building connections, introducing yourself, and networking opportunities.

Virtual Networking Part One: Using LinkedIn to Find Work and Build a Professional Network, Shift Workplace: A guide to virtual networking through LinkedIn, including dos and don’ts of using the platform.

8 Smart Ways to Keep Networking While You’re Stuck at Home, Fast Company: Strategies for building connections while maintaining social distancing or work-from-home practices.

10 Tips to Help You Network like a Pro, Indeed: A comprehensive guide to building relationships, revisiting old connections and building a network virtually.


Professional Development and Learning

Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment Program, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs: Resources for job training, employment accommodations and career coaching for veterans, employers and families.

Ticket to Work, Social Security Administration: A video introduction to the Ticket to Work program, which offers free career development for people with disabilities who are of working age.

Professional Development Online Courses, LinkedIn Learning: A library of skill-building videos including time-management, communication and emotional intelligence.

25 Free Online Classes That’ll Give You Valuable Skills Every Employer Looks For, WayUp: A roundup of free courses including coding, graphic design, public speaking, grammar, negotiation, accounting and more.

50 Free Professional Resources, Entrepreneur: A list of free professional development videos and courses, organized by category, including technology, communication and leadership.

Job Cast, Indeed: A list of free webinars to help prepare for job applications and interviews, with new resources published twice a month.


Where to Look for Job Opportunities

Veteran and Military Transition Center, Career One Stop: Resources for veterans returning to civilian life, including finding apprenticeships and employment for spouses.

American Job Center Finder, Career One Stop: A job bank of employment opportunities searchable by city, state and zip-code.

America’s Job Bank, Career Builder: A searchable list of job opportunities including descriptions, requirements and location.

Job Corps, USDOL: A free career training program for people ages 16 to 24.

Find a Federal Government Job, USA.gov: How to find a government job, including resources for recent graduates, veterans, people with disabilities and former government employees.

Registered Apprenticeships, USAJobs.gov: A guide to finding and applying for government apprenticeships.

Federal Government Jobs in High Demand, USAJobs.gov: A list of the most-needed jobs in the federal government, organized by industry and skill.


Pre-Retirement Unemployment

Work Resource Center, AARP: A free resource for older adults seeking advice about applying for jobs.

Health Insurance Options After Losing Your Job, AARP: An explanation of options for maintaining health insurance coverage for older workers.

Job Tips for 50+ Workers, AARP: Advice for older workers searching for employment, including resources for resume writing, career planning and self-employment.

Q&A on How CARES Act Payments Affect Eligibility for Benefits, National Council on Aging: A list of frequently asked questions about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, including how it affects eligibility for state and federal unemployment benefits.

Regional Networking Events, American Society on Aging: A calendar of online networking events for topics related to aging.

Benefits for Seniors, National Council on Aging: A list of resources for older adults to understand and access unemployment benefits, including insurance for hearing, vision and dental care, food stamps, health care coverage and savings programs.

Senior Community Service Employment Program, U.S. Department of Labor: A program for adults 55 or older that provides job training, job search services, and on-the-job experience.

Senior Environmental Employment (SEE) Program, Environmental Protection Agency: A program for workers 55 or older to share their skills and expertise with the EPA through positions ranging from clerical to technical and professional assignments such as technicians, writers, engineers, scientists and accountants working for the environment.

Resources for Older Workers, Career One Stop: A list of resources for older workers seeking help with self-employment, overcoming stereotypes, interviewing, negotiating and job applications.


Finding a Social Worker or Career Counselor

Social Services, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: A centralized list of government services for American residents, including child support, food stamps, home visits, and veteran assistance.

Social Workers in the U.S., HealthGrades: A directory of licensed social workers in each state, including their contact information, specializations and client reviews.

Social Services for the Elderly: How Can I Get Help?, National Council for Aging Care: An explanation of different types of social services for older adults, including a resource for finding local help.

Find Government and Local Disability Programs and Services, USA.gov: A list of options for support regarding unemployment, transportation, education and vocational rehabilitation for people with disabilities.

How to Find a Career Counselor or Coach, The Balance Careers: An explanation of the services and support offered by career counselors and where to find one.

Employment and Career Development, Benefits.gov: A list of 100 state-level resources for finding social services, social workers or other assistance.

How to Find a Licensed Social Worker, OnlineMSWPrograms: A 2U-operated website of web resources to find a social worker, including how to verify a professional license.

Social Worker Finder, HelpPRO: A portal for finding a social work professional based on an individual’s location, age group, and health insurance coverage.

Find a Social Worker, National Association of Social Workers: A list of websites and strategies for finding a social worker.


Mental and Emotional Wellness

4 Ways to Support Your Mental Health While Unemployed, TalkSpace: Simple strategies to maintain and nurture your mental health needs.

Finding a Mental Health Professional, National Alliance on Mental Illness: A step-by-step guide for what to consider while deciding to pursue mental health care. 

How to Get Mental Health Help, MentalHealth.gov: A list of resources from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for pursuing mental health care.

Psychology Help Center, American Psychological Association: Resources for coping with crisis, social distancing and unemployment, including finding a therapist.

How to Deal with Anxiety, Crisis Text Line: A guide for identifying and coping with symptoms of anxiety, including causes, treatment and prevention, as well as a 24/7 text line to speak anonymously with a trained professional.