you have lost your job one of your concerns may be the employment gap on your
resume. Most companies you will interview with will ask you to explain the
employment gap. That is, if you get the interview in the first place. The
February 17, 2011 Yahoo! News article "Help Wanted
- jobless need not apply" stated "Job-placement professionals say that over the
last year, more and more employers have made it clear they won't consider job
candidates who aren't working." "Some employers have said they're unwilling to
unemployed workers because they believe that if
a worker has once been let go, that's a sign that he or she is probably not a
"And as Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke has said, when people are out of work
for a long time, their skills can erode, which may understandably make them
less attractive to employers."
Do you think that
job seekers who are unemployed is prevalent enough to write a law banning it?
That is the question many states are debating right now. New Jersey recently
passed a law making it illegal for employers to
discriminate against the
unemployed in print and Internet job
advertisements, and assesses fines against companies violating the law.
Currently, there is no federal law that says a company can’t
discriminate against the
That means if you are not currently working, and apply for a
job with Company
XYZ, there is nothing stopping them from saying you are ineligible for
employment simply because you don’t have a current job.
Some states are looking for ways to put an end to that, such as New Jersey
mentioned above, and New York, where Senator Andrea Stewart-Cousins stated, “It
is fundamentally unfair for employers to refuse to hire, or even accept
applications from individuals who are out of work. With the unemployment rate in
the State still at staggeringly high levels, this prevents people who have lost
their jobs through no fault of their own from getting back on their feet. It is
it is wrong and it must not continue”.
Would you even know if you were discriminated against?
Any discrimination against those who are jobless is usually a silent slight.
That is to say employers don't have to be as blatant as printing in their job
ads their preference for those who are already employed. You may not even know
that your resume was rejected because of an employment gap. On the other hand
some employers have followed the lead of 1860s store owners who posted the sign
"NINA" on their storefront windows (NINA = No Irish Need Apply). For example,
consider a recent job fair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
at a Pennsylvania job fair?
Adam Sikes attended a June, 2011, job fair in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He
arrived early and filled out a "pre-screening form" as directed by one of the
event representatives who signed him in. After completing his form he joined
about 20 other
job seekers for a briefing conducted by the
job fair organizers
before entering the main
job fair area.
Adam, unemployed for 5 months, was
somewhat stunned when the group was told that anyone who was
unemployed or self-employed would not be
considered for employment by the primary company hosting the
job fair. If you
unemployed or self-employed you were welcome to
visit with the other employers, but not with the host company representatives!
A solution to an employment gap.
Taking part-time work while searching for full-time work may benefit you with
additional income (you can earn x amount of money while unemployed without
losing your unemployment benefits) and having a current
job to list on your
resume. Remember you don't list how many hours you work on your resume; you list
the jobs you are holding or have held. An
employer reviewing your application may not
know you are only working 15 hours a week, but will see that you are a working,
that someone else believes you are employable.
Holding a part-time
job while you search for full time work could also provide
you with new skills, new contacts, and new ideas in addition to building your
resume and your household income. Find more solutions to the employment gap here.