Tag Archives: employed

Does Being Unemployed Make You Unemployable?

unemployment_web“If I’m unemployed, is it making me less employable for the jobs I’m applying for?” It’s the question facing millions of people who struggle to find work in a weak job market.

One of the long-lasting impacts of the Great Recession is how many job seekers are continuing to have trouble starting over in a new job. For the long-term unemployed (those out of work for more than six months), a Princeton University study found that only 11 percent found steady employment. So, does being unemployed make you less likely to get a job?

It Can, But It Doesn’t Have To

When an employer is looking over a resume, they want to see not only what type of work history you have, but also what you are currently doing to improve yourself professionally. While out of work, it’s tempting to focus on applying for as many jobs as possible and getting your information to your network of friends and family to help you get an interview. But your efforts can’t stop there.

If you’re unemployed, take this time to improve your current skills or learn a new one. A recent Harris Poll survey of the unemployed found that 64 percent are not planning to go back to school to make themselves more marketable to employers. Career Technical Education locations in your community often have classes you can take to keep you up-to-date in your field, but can also provide you with the opportunity to learn a different skill or trade.

When employers are struggling to find qualified workers in the industrial, health care, and IT fields, this may be the perfect time for you to learn a new skill set. Most programs can be completed in two years or less, and tuition is much more affordable than a traditional four year degree from a university.

Keep Working

Going back to school is great way to fill in the gap in your resume, but if that isn’t an option, consider taking a part-time job to add to your resume. This will demonstrate your work ethic and show employer you’re ready for an opportunity to continue your career. And if part-time work isn’t an option, consider volunteering in a way that uses your skills.

Whether your background is in administrative work, human resources, accounting, or another field, you have something to offer to a non-profit or charity. Most of these organizations are often under-staffed and depend on volunteers with expertise in different areas to come in and do some work for them for free.

When a potential employer looks through the stack of resumes and sees that you’ve spent time serving others in the community using your skills and expertise, you will stand out and have a leg up on the competition.

Some Employers May Not Hire You

In a few places, it is illegal for an employer to discriminate against job seekers based on their employment status. But for the most part, there is no legal protection from your unemployment having an impact on the hiring process, and that means you may run into this problem.

So what can you do? If you think an employer won’t hire you because you’ve been out of work, it’s a tough situation to deal with. But when you turn your focus from the gap in your work history on your resume, to the people you know, your job search could be revitalized.

Connect with People and Stay Positive

Build your network of contacts. Reach out to family and friends to introduce you to people who could have an impact on your job hunt. Help a potential employer get to know you as great candidate and not another resume in the stack sitting on their desk.

If you’ve done all you can to improve yourself since becoming unemployed, it’s likely you won’t stay out of work for long. The Harris Poll survey of the unemployed also found that 91 percent of the unemployed are hopeful they will find a job they really want in the next six months. Hard work during this time in your life will set you up for success in your future career and make this an experience you look back on with pride as you overcame obstacles that wanted to keep you down.

How do you make sure you’re still employable if you’re unemployed? Share with us in the comments section below.

Movin’ On Up is brought to you by Express Employment Professionals.

How to GO About Networking at Work

networking at workI can’t stress enough how important networking is. No matter your industry, personality, or situation, networking is one of the best ways to find a job. The connections you build during your job search will benefit you throughout your career.

But what happens once you get the job? Do you retire the Rolodex of connections or clear out your LinkedIn connections, and focus on the job at hand in your little workspace? NO! Developing connections and building relationships at work are just as important as building an outside network. Here’s how you can keep a strong network at work.

Go Small
We all know and work with that one person who seems to talk to everybody. While there’s nothing wrong with being social, it can be a time drain to build relationships with as many people as possible. It’s best to focus your attention on building a more efficient network of co-workers who all have different skill sets, opinions, and perspectives.

Go Outward
While it’s always good to build strong working relationships with those on your team or in your department, you should look to those you aren’t familiar with to build a good network. Keep in contact with people in other parts of your building or who do jobs that aren’t familiar to you. Networks can be powerful when you bring people together who don’t normally work with each other.

Go Weak
You may think I’m crazy for telling you to build weak ties instead of strong ones, but it really isn’t counterproductive. It feels like developing strong relationships will be the most beneficial, but binding weaker sticks together can end up being stronger than a single big stick. Those you are close to probably share the same social circles as you. Developing weaker ties with others outside of your normal circle connects you to a larger list of people you would normally never talk to.

Go to the Heart
We associate the place where everyone goes to converse as “the water cooler,” and that place can be a great resource for bringing people together. Those who frequent the hubs of conversations tend to be the ones who attract the most people. Instead of asking familiar faces if they can help you, try asking people at these casual gatherings if they know anyone who can help. It’s much easier for someone to say no if directly asked for help, but asking for a connection encourages them to think about the situation. They can stay passive while still helping out.

Go All Out
When building your network, don’t be afraid to use it to touch base with someone you’d like to meet. If you’re not the type to just barge into someone else’s workspace and introduce yourself, or if your target is just very busy and never has the door open, consider getting your boss to contact that person’s boss. Explain to your manager why you believe developing a relationship will help you in your career. If that isn’t an option, try to find out if you share the same goals or hobbies as a reason to talk.

Building a network doesn’t happen overnight. With some patience, generosity, and sincerity, you can build a great network just outside your workspace. With these suggestions, you can increase your network company-wide without wasting time or feeling pushy. How have you networked at work? Sound off in the comments section below.

Job Searching While Still Employed

finding a job while still employedMaybe you’ve been at the same job for a few years and are looking for that next great challenge. Or maybe your current job isn’t working out for you. No matter your situation at work, it’s best to have your next job ready before quitting your current one.

Looking for a job while still employed can feel taboo. Many workers feel uncertain about the best actions to take at work when looking for new employment. You shouldn’t let this fear hold you back from advancing your career. Here are some ways you can improve your chances of finding a new job without stepping on your employer’s toes.

Shhh! Keep It Discreet
It’s best to keep your search away from work. You shouldn’t feel obligated to inform your current employer you’re job searching until you’re ready to give notice. While you may have a strong working relationship with your boss, you could still disrupt relations and teamwork with your boss and co-workers if you talk about a new job opportunity and end up not getting it. Also, don’t use your managers or co-workers as references during your search unless you’ve discussed with them your plans to look for a new job. Wait until you’ve left on good terms.

You should also avoid posting your resume into search databases online, instead directly apply to open positions. You never know who could be looking at them, and the news of your job search could reach your current employer.  Consider changing some privacy settings on your social media accounts. Social media can be a powerful tool in your job search, but if you’re friends with  co-workers and managers, you could burn some bridges with them by publicly announcing your job search. You may feel like it’s keeping a secret, but it’s more about keeping the search out of the workplace until you’re ready to leave.

Don’t Use Company Time or Company Dime
Your employer is paying you to work for them, so don’t use company time and resources to look for a new job. Wait until you’re off work to search online and send resumes to hiring managers. Make sure you include your personal contact information and not your work number or email in a cover letter or resume.

If you need to schedule an interview, make sure it’s before work, during your lunch break, or after work. If asked why you’re taking your lunch break early or late, you can tell management that you need to take care of some personal business. You can also take scheduled time off for interviews, but don’t use sick time off for this purpose.

Avoid using company equipment and resources during your job search as well. It may be small things like paper, but it can really hurt your chances of getting hired if you send cover letters with your current employer’s letterhead.

Resign with Respect
If you get a job and accept it, make sure you give your boss ample time to prepare before you leave. Be upfront and give as much notice as possible. When you’re leaving your job, it can be easy to stop caring about your responsibilities. Make sure you have your duties and responsibilities clearly communicated to the right people. If you continue to work as a model employee before leaving, you’re more likely to be able to use this employer as a recommendation, contact, or reference in the future.

Applying for a job while still working a full-time job can be tiring. You have a lot to do during your off time, on top of your regular life schedule, but the long hours are worth it. What has helped you find a job while still employed?