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With the UK in recession for the first time in 11 years and growing numbers of us being made redundant, times are tough.

So what can you do to make yourself employable?

Newsbeat’s been getting some practical advice to help you out.

Prioritise exploring over applying

Lots of companies have been using the government’s furlough scheme to pay staff wages.

It means the number of people out of work hasn’t risen as predicted, but this will change once the scheme comes to an end this autumn.

If you’re going to be looking for a new role in the next six to 12 months, it’s likely there will be lots of other people looking for jobs at the same time.

Helen Tupper, who co-founded career development company Amazing If says it’s a great time to get curious about your career.

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Helen Tupper is the co-founder & CEO of a career development company

“Look at lots of different roles, look at what’s interesting, ask people what they actually do in an average day, find out the detail of those roles,” she says.

This is preferable, Helen says, to just applying for something because the job title look good.

Be clear

You might be creative, organised and sociable, but what does that actually mean in the context of the job you’re applying for?

“If you’re going to try to stand out, what you really want to do is make sure your strengths have a clear value to your employer,” Helen tells Newsbeat.

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Celebrate your successes – however small

Applying for jobs can be gruelling, especially if it feels like you keep getting knocked back.

The key, Helen says, is to celebrate your successes.

“Make sure you celebrate all of your small wins, everybody who does reply, every interview or Zoom conversation you have.

“All of those small successes are things that can build your confidence and resilience for what is likely to be a challenging time.”

Maybe you realise a job you wanted isn’t actually the right fit for you? That’s a success.

Bridge the gap

If you’ve finished uni this year, maybe you pictured yourself having an amazing summer, followed by securing a top graduate job?

The coronavirus pandemic might have scuppered those plans.

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More than a quarter of businesses are reducing the number of graduates they hire this year, according to the Institute of Student Employers.

But while you might not have bagged the job you want, there are things you can do to make sure there won’t be a big hole in your CV.

“You can’t make up a job you haven’t done but there are other things you can do” Helen says.

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“You could bridge the gap with learning, there are a lot of courses you can take online that are free so it’s worth thinking – what skills would be most useful to me depending on where I want to go next?

“The second thing you could do is to bridge the gap with some experience.

“Maybe you could volunteer and give your time to something you’re passionate about? Is there a side project you could start?”

These things won’t just look good on your CV, but they’ll keep you motivated too.

Don’t be rigid

Let’s face it, when things are this tough, we all have to adapt.

And with so much change, Helen says the key is to look for the learning opportunity.

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Volunteering could help you to gain new skills while you look for work

“There is no one perfect job. If you’re looking for the dream job you’ll limit your options.

“Your next job is very unlikely to be your last job so look for companies that have got great learning cultures.

“If you can start to look for learning then you won’t limit your opportunities.”

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