If you have been out of work for a while, you are well aware of how difficult it is to find a job. And the longer you have been unemployed, the more difficult it is.
Employers have embraced the attitude – however misguided it may be – that something must be wrong with a person who has been out of work for an extended amount of time. Some employers, in fact, have refused to even consider such people.
This has even had an effect on recruiters, some of whom are now exclusively going after people who are already employed.
So, how can you overcome such a mindset? You have to focus your employment pitch to overcoming objections – objections that employers will have resulting from your unemployment. In other words, you have to put yourself in the position of the employer and consider what they might be thinking about your work history, and then work to counteract that mindset.
For example, if you were laid off, a potential employer might be wondering if there is something wrong with you.
To confront this attitude, you have to first be careful how you tell the employer about the layoff. Don’t focus just on yourself by saying you were laid off. Tell the employer that you were part of a layoff of whatever number of workers. If you survived one or more rounds of layoffs, let the employer know that. It shows that your former company valued you to the point that they tried to keep you as long as they could. Also, give the reason for the layoff.
Let the potential employer know that you are still on good terms with your former company. You can emphasize this by having former supervisors include comments and recommendations on your LinkedIn site. Even better, if you can persuade your former company to continue doing work for them in a consulting or volunteer capacity, this will also show how the company values you.
You should also have something on your resume that shows how you have been keeping your skills up to date. This is a big concern among employers – the erosion of skills of people who have been out of work for an extended period of time. You can keep your skills current through consulting, volunteering, working on a contingent bases or through continuing education.