I am sure that some of you have seen the articles on CNN where employers are admitting to not wanting to hire the unemployed and are only interested in hiring people who already have jobs.
Personally this sickens me. In an economy when unemployment is hovering around 10%, to ignore this segment of the population is stupid and short sighted. It is also counterintutive. While many employers these days do not really seem to value showing their employees loyalty, the same employers really, really want loyal employees who are not going to jump at the first opportunity and leave them.
My question to these employers is " If someone is going to leave their job to come to you, why wouldn't they leave you to go to another job? "
So if you are one of the many, many people who are unemployed how do you work around this issue?
The first thing to consider is how to cover the gap in your resume. I have a few suggestions below, but I know my fabulous readers will have some great ideas as well:
1. Sign up at every temp agency in town and temp: You have something to put on the resume, and perhaps the temp opportunity will morph into something more permanent. However if you temp you are going to be doing a lot of the more menial chores. If you do decide to temp, I suggest that you check with unemployment (if you are collecting) to see how much you are permitted to earn each week before it messes with your State Unemployment Department. This will vary both by state and the amount of your unemployment.
If you do temp, please remember to send a thank you note at the end and a copy of your resume.
2. Along the lines of temping, another idea is to set yourself up as a project based consultant. Once again check with Unemployment about eligibility rules. If you go the consultant route, you will often be a 1099 employee so all taxes will be your obligation to handle. This website can be helpful if you are looking into the nuts and bolts of consulting.
3. Volunteer. Offering your services at organizations who need the help is a great way to get out of the house, meet people and expand your network and keep your skills fresh. Volunteermatch.org and idealist.org are places that will help match you with volunteer opportunities that will suit your needs.
The next issue to think about is how to present your job loss with a positive spin. While being laid off does not have the stigma that it once did, since it has happened to so many people, like Lucy, you will still have "some splainin' to do"
The 1st thing to think about is the how, when and why you were laid off. If you were the last hired and its company policy for last hired, 1st fired, you should mention that. If you survived several rounds of layoffs before you were laid off, or if your entire division was laid off at once, or your company went bankrupt, the resume would be a good place to mention that.
If you are interviewed be prepared to discuss the layoff. If you are still bitter or furious about losing your job, you will need to practice your story until you can tell it in a calm manner. People can smell desperate and bitter a mile away.
Being able to discuss your layoff in a non-confrontational, matter of fact way, free of bitterness, gives the potential employer reassurance that you are a good worker and were not laid off as an easy way to get rid of a problem employee. It also shows maturity and resilience.
One important caveat is that once you have your spin on events, you should make sure that your former employer has the same spin. Otherwise when it is time for the reference check, things could get hairy.
Email the people at your company responsible for references or employment verification. Let them know what you will be telling potential employers and you hope that they will say good things about you. I would then follow that up with a phone call if you do not get a response.
If you were not aware of the company's policy regarding references and employment verifications before you left the company, make sure you know them now.
Good luck out there to my unemployed friends. I am rooting for you everyday.
For those of you who wish to write or boycott companies that refuse to hire the unemployed, please visit Exquisite Humanity.
BTW: Hubman and I wrote a review of a Crystal Delight. Please check it out.