We all have obstacles to overcome. We may experience discrimination due to our gender, race, sexual orientation, appearance, or religion. Some of us may be at a disadvantage due to lack of a college degree. In today’s job market, we are witnessing a bias against the unemployed. Have you seen job postings that include discriminatory messages, such as listing “currently employed” as a qualification to apply or stating that unemployed candidates will not be considered? They are becoming more frequent.
Preference for employed candidates has always existed. As humans, we are hard-coded to be attracted to the successful. Success is attractive and what others have is often coveted. That does not mean that bias against the unemployed is ethical. After the initial shock that this discrimination exists in the U.S. job market, my reaction was that legislation must be passed to stop this form of discrimination. I still feel that it is necessary to protect the workforce. How do you feel?
One thing is certain. If you are unemployed today and looking for a job, you don’t have the luxury or waiting for legislation to pass. How can you get around this bias and get the job? There are several strategies that will help. None of the strategies include lying.
1.) Downplay gaps without falsifying your history. One way is to show years only on your resume. This may eliminate some or all of your gaps.
2.) Stay in the workforce. Unpaid internships, part-time work, freelance work, and volunteer work are ways to continue working. Don’t overstate your role. Do include the scope of your responsibilities and your accomplishments just as you would in a paid position.
3.) Upgrade your skills. Take a course, earn an industry certification, and attend industry conferences. Include dates with these achievements to show your professional activity during your period of unemployment.
4.) Put your search in hyper drive. As your period of unemployment increases, the more likely you are to become complacent and the more likely the unemployment status will have a negative impact on your search. Keep focused, dedicated, and persistent. The time and effort you commit will improve your success.
Have you experienced discrimination due to unemployment? Have you seen job postings with bias against the unemployed? I want to hear about it. This is a topic about which I am very concerned. I am curious how this trend has affected you and what you have been doing about it. Write me to me today.