jobless.jpgHiring managers can smell the fear of unemployment.

There’s been a lot of anger over the help wanted ad for a job in Florida that stated: “No unemployed candidates will be considered at all.”

The ad in question was for a marketing gig with Sony Ericsson in Buckhead, FL, that pays between $90,000 and $130,000.

Clearly, many unemployed individuals around Buckhead would want to be considered for this job. But the company wants only those candidates who are presently employed.

Unfortunately, this is not something new. What’s new is that a company would be so blatant about it.

It happens all the time. Recruiters and hiring managers typically want people who are employed. No matter how you slice it, the natural tendency is for people to think something’s wrong with you if you’re unemployed, even if it’s not your fault, and the economy is bad, and your company laid off everyone.

This is just a fact of life. So, you have to pretend not to be jobless.

I’m not saying you should lie, but if you mention your unemployment in a cover letter or resume you are nuts. Take that out now! I know you guys do that. I recently read a cover letter that included a few paragraphs on why the person was jobless. Forget that. No one wants to hear your sob story. Seriously, they’ll think less of you, or worse, pity you.

So, don’t mention it anywhere, and don’t bring it up in a phone interview.

You should say something like, “most recently I was the manager at Company X responsible for this and that.” If the interviewer asks you if you’re still doing a certain job, you should be honest. But then jump in with all the things you’ve been doing since you left Company X.

“I am taking a course in business management,” or “I’m getting my certification in several computer programs.”

You also may want to think about taking a job that is not in your direct field. Consider working for a retailer or a non profit that doesn’t pay tons. Or finally join the PTA at your kid’s school and become an active member, planning events, raising money, etc. You can spin any thing to fit the job you want.

Let’s say you want that job in marketing, you can say, “I’m working for a clothing shop and have been able to interact directly with customers and see what sells.” Or, offer to do work helping promote the retailer online or in the community. Bingo, you have a marketing job you can include on your resume. You don’t have to include that you hung shirts up and worked the register if these things don’t apply to the job you want.

The ad says you have to be employed. It doesn’t say by whom, or the type of job.

Come on, don’t let this stuff get you down. And don’t just sit home monitoring job boards for six months. That’s what hiring managers are most fearful of; that you’ve been cloistered for months, allowing yourself to get stale, angry and lethargic. You can babysit; sell cookies or crafts at a local fair; tutor a neighbor’s kid; even sell freaking lemonade on the corner. All these things constitute employment.

employment |emˈploimənt|
the condition of having paid work

You’re not unemployed. You’re doing tons of stuff until you find just the right gig.

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