Monday, September 12, 2011

Making The Most of Long Term Unemployment

Recently, gentle readers, your MatchGirl posted about the cycle of long term unemployment. She also posted about how more and more employers are saying that unemployed need not apply to their job listings.

This is a trend that troubles your MatchGirl. Unemployeds are the ones who need the jobs being posted. Of course, there are plenty out there who are under-employed, and could use a leg up, a better income or a job more fitting with their education and training. But, at the end of the day, right this second, the people who really need that job you've just posted are the unemployed.

Here's an idea for the long term unemployed, looking to make themselves more appealing to hiring managers. Volunteer.

LinkedIn, the social network for professional people, has recently updated their formatting to let you add volunteer experience to your online resume. And this is great.

Part of the reason that businesses are not keen to hire the long term unemployed is because they feel that they must be lazy people. They feel they are the kinds of people who take the east way out or mooch off the system or are not going to be able to play well with others. A significant gap - and unexplained one - on your resume, is never going to look good. So add the work you've been doing that you're not getting paid for.

This is something that your MatchGirl did, when she had been unemployed for a while. She added a related experiences section - to the top of her resume - to highlight the activities she was participating in during her unemployment. I'm certain it helped my resume get a little higher in those piles on the HR guy's desk.

You not only need a job, you want one. You're not lazy. You know it. Now - prove it to them. Get yourself out there and do some good work. And don't forget to tell the world.