Thursday, April 12, 2012

Three Key Ways to Avoid Unemployment Discrimination

There is a disturbing trend of online job ads that specifically require candidates to be currently employed. Although there has been talks of legislation to end these types of requirements, the fact is that there are still employers that are biased against those people who are unemployed. Here are some ideas of how you can overcome this type of bias.

Network your way into the company.
This is the best way to find a job in the current market, no matter your situation. However, if you have been unemployed for an extended period, networking becomes even more important to you. Use all types of networking such as attending job seeker networking events, using social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter, and starting your own professional blog to make connections and build your brand.

Fill your gaps in employment with experience or education.
Employers seem to have the hardest time accepting those job seekers who have been unemployed for an extended period and have no explanation for how they passed the time. Employers want to see that you kept busy, made the best use of your time, and kept your skills and knowledge current. Whenever you are unemployed, you must do something to fill in those gaps. Here are some ideas.
  • Take on a contract assignment or a temporary job.
  • Go to school or take just one class. Visit your local Workforce Connections office to inquire about gaining funding to pay for a certification or course in your field to boost your resume and explain your gap in employment.
  • Volunteer! Try to find a volunteer or internship opportunity within your career field. This gives you hands-on experience, keeps your skills current, and allows you to make networking connections. However, even volunteering outside your career field shows that you stayed active and involved and fills the gaps in your resume.
Start your own business.
Not all businesses require large capital investments. Start your own business - even if it is outside your industry - to show initiative, business management, customer service, and marketing skills.

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