When someone says, “I don’t want to be unemployed,” that person joins millions of other workers who are worried about the future. Losing a job can be a difficult experience even in a good economy, but when the economy struggles, so does the job market. Millions of long-term unemployed workers testify to the fact they can’t find a job after losing the one they had. Therefore, many people should make keeping their current job a priority.

Even a great resume is no guarantee of getting a job, because a long record of experience and education can be something of a disadvantage. With so many people out of work, industry veterans are at a disadvantage to younger workers who can start at a lower salary. With so many students it’s an added problem when it comes to finding a job.

There are some things workers can do now to make them less vulnerable to a layoff.

Become more valuable. Workers who offer the most value to their company are most likely to keep their job. Any employee should evaluate his or her position and find ways to become essential to their company’s mission. This could mean developing new skills. A wise employee will find out what skills their employer needs and then learn them. This works well, especially if the needed skills are in short supply in the current workforce.

Building skills may mean taking some college classes or doing some self-study, but the extra time spent in personal and professional development will pay off when layoff time comes. Those with fewer skills have less value and will be the first ones out the door.

When people under the age of 30 are applying for jobs, it is common to see resumes that touch on education but emphasize experience – both in life and in the workplace. The job market has changed so much over the years that it is now quite common for young adults to have already worked for a variety of different companies and to even have held multiple positions of the type that would have occupied a person’s entire career a few decades ago. In fact, aside from those who work in family businesses or dedicate themselves to certain fields, such as teaching, law enforcement and a variety of jobs typically falling into the blue-collar category, it is now perfectly normal for people to make multiple career changes throughout their working years.

If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with another hello.

Paulo Coelho

Employment experience and job duties are essential to any resume, and life experiences that show you are a well-rounded person with diverse interests and an interesting life can certainly help you stand out as a unique applicant in a large pool of resumes. At the same time, it is essential to keep in mind that older generations generally place a higher importance on education. This means that you must ensure you have included a strong, well-written education section on your resume that spells out your areas of study, academic achievements, and degrees, diplomas or certificates earned.

Improving skills is another way to boost survivability in the workplace. Anyone with a commitment to excellence will be the last to go. Anyone can do average work and produce average results, but those who produce exceptional results will keep their jobs while others are in the unemployment line.

More than half of people who leave their jobs do so because of their relationship with their boss. Smart companies make certain their managers know how to balance being professional with being human. These are the bosses who celebrate an employee’s success, empathize with those going through hard times, and challenge people, even when it hurts.

Travis Bradberry

There’s an old saying that says, “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know.” Knowing the right people in a company can make the difference between beans and steak at supper. Those who want to keep their jobs will make a concerted, planned effort to set goals for meeting and pleasing the right people at the office. When the decision makers start making the lay-off list, the workers who they don’t know will be at the top.

Finally, a worker who doesn’t want to be unemployed should make his boss look good. When a worker finds ways to help the boss by taking on new responsibilities, completing special projects and providing useful ideas; that worker will have a job for a long time.