Catch 22: How to Find a Job When You’re Unemployed

Research continues to show that people who are currently employed are more likely to find a job than people who are not employed, and I’ve seen this with my clients over and over again. It’s the ultimate Catch 22.

One option: Job seekers can take temporary positions. Temp agencies these days are hiring people in multiple fields, so accountants, warehouse managers, tekkies, and even management level personnel have a shot at a temp position. This serves two purposes. First, of course, it demonstrates that a job seeker is currently employed. Second, it’s a way to get your foot in the door! A lot of companies these days prefer to hire people on a temporary basis to see how they work out before making the big investment of offering a permanent job. I’ve had plenty of clients go from temporary to permanent positions.

Another option is to work as a consultant. Is your Aunt Ruth starting – or having trouble with – her antique store or spa or accounting business? Offer her your expertise and help her out. Call some local nonprofits and see if they need some help from someone with your background. Sometimes they will pay a little, sometimes they won’t, but in either case, you are working as a “Business Consultant” or “Network Consultant” or “Change Management Consultant” or “Marketing Consultant” or “Accounting Consultant” (the options are endless), and that can be reflected on a resume as a current position. Of course, you should be entirely honest and never lie or exaggerate. But if you’re doing real work for a real company or organization, it counts!

Another thing that’s important is to keep credentials up-to-date. Did I say Catch-22? This can be a real struggle if a person isn’t employed and generating an income, but it’s critically important. If you allow your PHR to lapse, or if you don’t maintain memberships in your professional associations, it says to a prospective employer that you USED to do this kind of work, but you are now officially out of the field.

It’s unfair that in today’s economy employers continue to discriminate against job seekers because they are not currently employed, but like it or not, it’s reality. I recommend taking action to keep yourself in the game.

~ Anne Follis, Certified Professional Resume Writer

© Copyright 2011, Anne Follis. All rights reserved.

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