Over come gaps and multiple lay-offs

Unemployed job searchers are still misunderstood.

Unemployed job searchers are still misunderstood.

In my last post,  I talked about job hopping not being a bad thing.  That sometimes, it can help a career.  But in this post, I will talk about when it’s a terrible thing. And what you can do about it.

Well it seems that even with the Great Recession gaps due to several layoffs hasn’t changed the minds of hiring managers.  They still believe that unemployed job searchers aren’t the cream of the crop.  If  the job searcher was good, s/he wouldn’t be out looking for a job for so long.  The stigma of the laid off is the underperformed still inhabits the minds of companies.  Interestingly enough even if they have gone through layoffs, they still think that way.  And hiring managers also believe no one would  quit a job without having another one unless they had an outburst and walked about (think attitude problem).

However, the job searcher does have some options to help them get a job.  And they are pretty much the ones you would expect.

  • Explain your lay off in your résumé.  Indicate that the entire group/division/department was let go due to outsourcing/restructuring/downsizing.  Don’t mention it is the cover letter and resume.  The résumé is your best choice because not everyone reads cover letters.
  • If you have gaps in your résumé, fill them in with coursework, training, or certifications.  Also include volunteer work and part-time work.  Only  include these if you have actually done it.
  • Consider using a functional resume.  Although not a highly favored option of hiring managers, it shows how you are qualified to do that job without the distractions of gaps.
  • Target your résumé for the job you are applying for.  Use the key words found in the posting.  Only say what you actually did that matches their needs.  And use numbers to qualify subjective statements.
  • Put your network to work for you.  When applying for a position, find someone in the company, someone who knows someone in the company or someone who knows someone who knows someone in the company.  You have a better chance coming referred by someone than by submitting your résumé on your own.

It may take a while for hiring managers to change the way they view unemployed people.  If they have been unemployed for any length of time, they may be more understanding.  Or maybe we will have to wait until the millennials become hiring managers before we see a change.  Millennials are job hoppers for the sake of bettering their careers.  Whatever it takes, it can’t come soon enough. 


image:  http://www.freedigitalphotos.net     renjith krishnan

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