Saw an article recently on one of the online news sites that stated hiring managers and recruiters are no longer considering the long-term unemployed for work. The cut-off date for ‘long-term’ is currently six months without a job.
As most of us know, that’s not even close to reality for many of the unemployed. One year, even two years isn’t all that unusual, especially if the jobs in your industry have been shipped overseas (think customer service, high tech, etc.) or if you worked in a particularly hard hit field (construction, retail).
Being Unemployed Isn’t the End of the World
Even though you can’t change your past, you can minimize its negatives on a resume so that you are invited to interview.
1. Have you started a home-based business – or an endeavor you would consider a home-based business – during your long-term unemployment? If you’re babysitting the neighbors’ kids, then you’re running a childcare service. If you’re baking cakes to sell at various restaurants to supplement your unemployment, then you’re also operating a business. The idea is to show the potential employer that you haven’t just been sitting back and collecting your unemployment checks.
2. Are you studying for new career? If that’s the case, then lead with your education and the new field of study on your resume, rather than with experience which will highlight your unemployment.
3. Have you done volunteer work that’s related to your career field? If you’re an unemployed event planner, but have organized dances and fundraisers for a local charity, then put that on your resume. Again, it shows that you’ve been doing something while you were out of work.
Accentuate the Positive
It’s important to remember that a resume is a marketing tool and that you’re the product. Showcase your strengths and how you’ve been improving your skills during your unemployment. Minimize the time you’ve been out of work.
A lot of success is about perception. If a hiring manager or recruiter reads your resume and feels your outlook on the job market is hopeless given your lack of movement within the last year or two, then you’ll never be called in for an interview.