This article originally appeared in apploi.com last December 10, 2013.
Ever hear the expression, “It’s easier to get a job when you already have one?” Well, it’s true!
When I was at Cisco back in 2008, I had recruiters contacting me almost every single week. As soon as I was laid off, they disappeared. Advertising to the world, “I’m looking for a job” is the fastest way to scare recruiters off. Somehow “unemployed” became synonymous with “unemployable”. This type of unemployment discrimination is prevalent in almost all sectors and although it makes me sick, it’s a reality. Luckily there are some things you can do to avoid getting labeled as ‘unemployable’.
Unemployment discrimination is prevalent in almost all sectors and although it makes me sick, it’s a reality. Luckily there are some things you can do to avoid getting labeled as ‘unemployable’.
Don’t Job “Seek”
Someone once asked me: “Should I say ‘seeking new opportunities’ so that employers know I am interested in a change?” No!
It would be committing career suicide to say, “I’m looking for work” (or any variation). You want to show what you can do for them. The word “seeking” is asking what they can do for you. Demonstrate your value to a prospective employer and mention your openness to new opportunities in your summary (if at all).
Consultant is Just a Fancy Word for Unemployed
I was working with a friend the other day when he erupted into laughter and said, “John just updated his profile to Consultant. I guess he got fired.”
If you suddenly update your current position to consultant or freelancer, you’re just telling your network that you got canned. Likewise, if a recruiter sees that you are a consultant, they’ll assume you’re unemployed unless you give them more information.
There are a few solutions to this dilemma.
- If you really are a consultant, backdate your starting date in your role to before you were laid off. Then add as many work samples and testimonials as possible.
If you did just lose your job, don’t feel that you are necessarily obligated to update this information right away.
How About You?
These details are only things that matter at first. After you’ve made contact with an employer, allow them to get to know you and I’m sure you’ll have no trouble convincing them that you are very much employable.
Have you encountered unemployment discrimination before? What do you do about it?