Have you been unemployed for a while? Continuing in the series of helping people find jobs from a hiring manager’s point of view, I thought it helpful to offer some suggestions as to what to say if you’ve been out of the job market for a while.
Don’t get defensive about your long employment gap. Instead, be confident and truthful about your situation and woo your interviewer. You should always be confident and truthful regardless. However, in times of distress, you should be even more so.
We all feel we are special and deserve more. The truth of the matter is, we’re likely not that special and deserve exactly what we have coming to us. If the firm you were let go from is still in existence and has actually hired other people to replace you since your dismissal, it’s important to recognize you were at the bottom of the barrel.
An organization doesn’t fire its best people, they fire their worst people If you want to feel better about yourself, go visit the many self help/personal development blogs out there. I’m not here to help you feel better about yourself, I’m here to help you find a job.
Things To Say If You’ve Been Unemployed For A While
- I was looking for the perfect fit because I believe it’s important for both parties to have an ideal union.
- My plan is to be at an organization for the long term, which is why fit is so important.
- I had an unexpected family emergency to deal with.
- I’ve been taking advantage of the downturn to cross things off my bucket list eg trained for a marathon, climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro, swam in the ocean with sharks etc. These stories are fascinating to recruiters.
- I was the best deep fryer at KFC and didn’t mind working there while concurrently using the money to help start a business. Employers love to hear people take action.
- I believe the best time to take some risks and start a company is during a recession. Opportunity costs are lower and the hunger to create is much higher.
Things To Do When You’ve Been Unemployed For A While
- Volunteer. Non profit organizations are hurting big time with the drop in donations. If you can’t afford to donate money, donate your time. This will seriously go the farthest with me and other hiring managers.
- Start an online company. Showing something online and highlighting the marketing, branding, and revenue you’ve generated is a very powerful initiative. I know that if I was unemployed for 12 months, I can show the employer Financial Samurai and Yakezie.com and talk for hours about the initiative.
- Take classes to further your education and skills. There are so many University extension or online courses out there for one to take. I wish I could take more while working, but I’m having trouble finding the time. Use this time to learn!
Things Not To Say When You’ve Been Unemployed For A While
- Don’t blame me, I voted for ____.
- I wanted hopey changey.
- See what’s happening outside the Capital building in Wisconsin? I’m going to rock you if you don’t give me the job!
- Why work when you’ve got 99 weeks of unemployment benefits?
- It’s low season now for surfing in Costa Rica.
- I was living my dreams, being unemployed.
- I had a mid-life crisis.
- My trust fund doesn’t pay me enough.
- I’m too good for KFC or McDonald’s.
- When I create the next Facebook, I’m going to come back, buy up your little dog and pony show and fire you first in front of everybody!
- Do you know who I am?
- I’m a Gen Y-er and I deserve everything.
- You know you’d rather be young and hot like me, but you’re stuck on the other side of the table living your miserable life.
- Grades don’t matter. I’m special.
- I’ll make it worth your while.
- I’m huge on the internet. You haven’t heard of me? Duh.
- I quit my job, when really, I got let go. Note: If an employer thinks you’re lying about quitting/getting let go, you will not get the job. The natural feedback for anybody who feels lied to is to go on the offensive and deny. Whereas, if you are honest, you will likely create empathy and someone who wants to help you.
- What’s It Like Being Unemployed?
- Can You Collect Unemployment If You Have Passive Income?
- How Many People Do You Know Who Are Unemployed?
- Should Unemployment Benefits Be Phased Out After A Certain Age?
If you’ve been unemployed for a while, don’t lose heart. There is a company out there who wants to hire you. Remember, you want to be upbeat, honest, and cheerful during your interview. Nobody wants to hire someone who is defensive about their situation.
Instead, embrace your long employment gap and tell them you are fully re-charged with additional skills you’ve developed in the off-season to make for a great addition to their firm.
Readers, any other suggestions on what not to do or say and what to do and say if you’ve been unemployed for a while? Do you think employers discriminate against those who have been unemployed for a while, thinking there must be something wrong with them?