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Unemployed Job Applicants Are Turned Away Automatically

This article was written by in Career and Work. 30 comments.


If you are currently looking for a job, you’re probably aware that it’s an employer’s market right now. There are many potential employees for each open position right now. This is making it difficult for recent college graduates, many of whom are likely to move home with their parents as they continue their job search. With many qualified applicants, any blemish in your employment history will cause recruiters to look in a different direction and toss the resume to the bottom of the pile.

One such blemish is a break in employment history. According to CNN Money, recruiters are simply telling unemployed individuals not to bother applying for positions. Online job listings warn applicants that those without a current job will not be considered.

From the article:

“Most executive recruiters won’t look at a candidate unless they have a job, even if they don’t like to admit to it,” said Lisa Chenofsky Singer, a human resources consultant from Millburn, NJ, specializing in media and publishing jobs.

She said when she proposes candidates for openings, the first question she is often asked by a recruiter is if they currently have a job. If the answer is no, she’s typically told the unemployed candidate won’t be interviewed.

This is a bad move; a company can miss an opportunity to hire an excellent candidate who is unemployed through no fault of his or her own.

There is little you can do if you are unemployed other than be willing to take a job that does not fit with your expectations in terms of responsibilities or compensation. The best suggestion is to remain active; use your unemployment to strengthen your skills by taking classes and open up a consulting business in your field and use your connections to work with at least one client.

If you have any experiences with searching for a job while unemployed, feel free to share with other readers at Consumerism Commentary.

Updated June 23, 2010 and originally published June 21, 2010. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Arohan

This is rather unfortunate, as like you say, there are many excellent candidates who are not getting even a first look.

Silver lining of course is that there will be a lot of ‘corporate rejects’ who will decide to chuck it all and launch their own businesses.

(BTW Flexo, is there something wrong with your feed? FeedDemon is not able to find it.)

-Arohan

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avatar Simon Zhen

Employers are following the path of the credit markets. You can’t get credit unless you have credit. You can’t get a job unless you have a job. It really instills a feeling that you can never catch a break in life.

They’re probably just trying to revolutionize the way job seekers obtain employment.

Meaning – you better have worked in an internship!

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avatar Financial Samurai

Simon – Well said! Catch 22 now, and it’s getting all fooked up. I guess if you have a side business with something to show for it, that can certainly count as work.

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avatar Tom Dziubek

Yayyyy. Good thing I do some podcast thing on the side!

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avatar Terry

What if you’re unemployed and can’t afford to take classes?

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avatar Donna Freedman

I’m appalled by this. Don’t these employers realize how hungry some people are for work, and how HARD they’d work if you’d just hire them?

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avatar Moneymonk

This is nothing new. Companies always hire someone that is employed vs unemployed. Not sure the exact reason. But I was always told to not put the end date of your last job on a resume or application

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avatar Financial Samurai

The one thing I really notice now is a PICK UP in hiring actually. My firm is hiring for example, and the restaurants and traffic are all packed here in SF. Hopefully we are a leading indicator for the rest of the country!

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avatar Wojciech Kulicki

What a vicious Catch-22, and it’s unfortunate as you point out. In my field, I would say 20-30% of people are currently unemployed, and many of them are very well-qualified for another position.

On the other hand, the people who still have a job are probably the ones most worth keeping, so there’s something to be said for those who have been laid off first…just sayin’.

It’s a tough call, but a blanket “will not interview” policy is a poor approach, in my opinion.

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avatar Steve

Sounds apocryphal to me. Though HR departments do look to cut down on the stack of resumes they have to deal with by filtering them through various, arbitrary rules. Those same HR departments are probably also the ones that put unfeasible requirements on jobs, such as 5 years experience with a technology that’s been around 3 years.

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avatar Dan

the gorilla in the room, that no one mentions is:

lower level jobs, help desk, call center, order takers, manufacturing, etc are mostly outsourced to india, china and the Philippines, so there is not an easy place for entry level people to start to get experience.

Without experience at a low level job, how do you move up to the more advanced jobs?
I fear for our country and our children, unless they are very smart…

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avatar Brian Kevin Johnston

I trust all is well…. This is NOT uncommon in ANY market… For any HR/Recruiter/Company to disqualify someone just because they are not currently working in ludicrous… You need to find out RFL: Reason For Leaving… If they make sense, go for it, if not, you move on…. We CAN and WILL get out of this debacle… We just need to have courage… Keep fighting the good fight! Best, Brian-

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