Job Search Strategies Important to Avoid the Six-Month Unemployment Cliff

December 18, 2012

Job Hunt, Networking, Unemployment Stats

Get Hired Fast - job search strategiesRelying on the right job search strategies has always been important. Today, with competition for open jobs so high, it’s especially important for those on a career search to tap the power of social media sites, network with business associates, and craft the best resumes and cover letters possible.

But a recent story in the Atlantic by writer Matthew O’Brien should scare anyone who’s been out of work for almost six months: According to the story, it’s far harder for people to find a new job after they’ve been unemployed for six months or longer.

This means that people approaching this milestone better use all their job search strategies to find work before they fall over the six-month unemployment cliff.

The Six-Month Cliff

According to the Atlantic story, there’s a big difference in the number of people who find jobs after being unemployed for five months and the number who find new work after being unemployed for six months or more.

This seems random. After all, it’s not like workers’ skills magically erode once they hit the six-month unemployment mark.

But, as O’Brien writes, this doesn’t mean that employers don’t treat job applicants differently once they hit that six-month unemployment mark. As O’Brien says, busy hiring departments might be more willing to pass over the resumes of these unemployed because they worry that there must be something wrong with these people to account for their long break from the workforce.

Vicious Cycle

O’Brien is right to call this a vicious cycle. People who are unemployed for six months or more are passed over for positions for which they are perfectly qualified. This extends their long period of unemployment, making them even more un-hirable according to human resources departments.

As O’Brien writes: It’s not illegal for companies to discriminate against those that are unemployed. Many companies fill their open positions only by hiring workers who already have jobs, leaving the unemployed out of work.

Boosting Your Skills

If you’ve been unemployed for several months, it might be time to take a closer look at your job search strategy. Are you focusing on networking with local business leaders, former bosses, and past co-workers? This remains the best way to find hot job leads and future employment.

Are you using sites such as LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to promote yourself to your online business contacts? Does your resume list not just where you’ve worked but what you’ve accomplished while at these positions?

If not, you need job search advice to boost your career search. You can receive this advice at our Get Hired Boot Camp if you sign up today.

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