Help For The Long-Term Unemployed

Sep 15 2010 in Employment Economy, Job Search Strategy, Job Search/Career Change, reCareered Blog by Phil Rosenberg

career, career coach, employment, Hiring, job, job search, layoffs, planning, recession, unemployment

CC Image by inoneear

I was quoted in, giving some tips for candidates that have been unemployed for a while. The long-term unemployed have some additional concerns from others who have been out of work for just a few months.

When CareerBuilder reports that the average unemployed candidate is out of work an average 35 weeks, long-term unemployment becomes an issue for many candidates today. SmartMoney asked “What additional strategies should candidates consider when they expect to be out of work for six months or more?”

Author: Catey Hill

More than six months ago, Naomi Bishop was laid off from her job as a social media strategist when her former employer closed its Seattle office. She’s kept busy with freelance consulting work, but the months without full-time employment are starting to take a toll. “With each passing day, I worry that I am becoming less employable,” she says.

She’s right to worry. Prospective employers don’t like to see big gaps on a resume. Still, Bishop has plenty of company. The long-term unemployment rate hit an all-time high this year — in May, 46% of unemployed people had been out of work for six months or more, according to the Labor Department. Today, 6.2 million (42%) of unemployed people fall into this group. During the recession in the early 1980s, only about 25% of the unemployed had been out of work for six months or more.

For job-seekers, long-term unemployment can have severe consequences. In addition to the impact on a worker’s ability earn and save money, being out of the workforce can impact job skills, increase the likelihood of unhappiness and anxiety, and heighten the probability that a worker will drop out of the workforce altogether, economists say.

“People who have been unemployed for a while have the hard task of staying upbeat and positive,” says Marc Dorio, an executive coach and author of “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Career Advancement,” adding that “some employers might not view that long unemployment in the best light.” Nonetheless, the long-term unemployed can still find a job if they know how and where to look, he says. Here’s what to do.

Fill in employment gaps

If you’ve been busy during your unemployment, show it. If you’re using relevant skills for volunteer work, or to build a blog or a house, put it on your resume. And if you haven’t been doing those things, what’s stopping you? Volunteer at an organization that might have work for you related to your field, says Phil Rosenberg, President of reCareered, a career coaching service and web site. Not only will it keep you sharp and motivated, it can give you a foot in the door if a job opens up there or be a valuable networking opportunity. At the very least, it’s good for your resume.

Cast a wider net

If you have been looking for months, it may be time to expand your job search. Apply for jobs even if you think you’re overqualified. Try new arenas for job postings — and, both of which aggregate job listings, are helpful starting points. Find companies that you might want to work for and send a letter to the person who would be your boss if you worked there, Dorio says. Discuss how your skills and experience would benefit the company and ask the person to keep you in mind for future positions.

Reimagine your skills

According to a recent CareerBuilder survey, 51% of workers who had been laid off in the last year and landed new jobs said they found work in a different area than where they were previously employed. Unemployed workers who want to make a switch should look at industries or employers that are hiring and ask themselves how their skills might apply to these jobs, Dorio says.

Sign up with a temp agency

Employers are increasingly hiring for contract and temp work, career coaches say. Even if you would prefer a full-time job, you may want to consider a temporary or contract position. You can (and probably want to) keep looking for a full-time job, says Hallie Crawford, a certified career coach, but some temps and contractors eventually get hired into full-time positions.

Stay positive

Keeping your spirits up during a protracted job search can be a struggle, but it’s important to try. “It comes across in job interviews, talking to contacts and in your overall demeanor,” says Allison Nawoj a communications manager at CareerBuilder. For help, consider joining an online job search or unemployed support group or reaching out to your family and friends.

Original Source:


Want to do more than just complain about a bad economy?

To attend our next complimentary live webinar featuring action items to double your resume response rate and number of interviews, plus live career Q&A with Phil Rosenberg of reCareered, register at .

Available Now On Amazon: Job Search Secrets - Rethink Your Job Search Now, By Phil Rosenberg

Phil shows you why your current job search strategies work against you and how to replace them with strategies that improve your odds. Phil provides you with research - cold, hard statistics provided by job boards and hiring managers themselves, to show you what works for you and against you in the worst job market in our lifetimes.

Download Job Search Secrets on Amazon

Join our mailing list for newsletters, announcements of complimentary upcoming webinars and other job search resources. Sign up at

For access to more information:
Connect to Phil Rosenberg on Linkedin:
Follow reCareered on Linkedin:
Like reCareered on Facebook:
Follow Phil Rosenberg on Google+:
Follow reCareered on Twitter:
Join Career Change Central on Linkedin:

Author: Phil Rosenberg

You might also like

Sobering News: Long-Term Unemployment By State This is some sobering news, from today's Wall Street Journal. Today's Journal included an interactive...
Pardon Our Construction We're under construction, but still open for business, while we transfer content from our old site...
Happy Thanksgiving 2012   Happy Thanksgiving to all reCareered readers!...
Why Would You Send A One Page Resume? Two readers commented last week about efforts to cut their resumes down to one page. “Why would...