SPEAKER’S CORNER: Abby Kohut – Why “The Unemployed Need Not Apply” Need Not Apply To You

By Abby Kohut

Anyone who is currently searching for a job has probably read at least one article about a company who is unwilling to hire “the unemployed.” It is absurd to simply eliminate “unemployed” candidates without understanding why they are unemployed. Unemployment is simply a state that people pass through from one job to another. It is a natural part of life as is “unmarriage.” When people get divorced, they don’t simply get remarried the next day. They are “unmarried” until they are remarried. Similarly, people who are unemployed are simply between opportunities.

How can we as a country possibly expect people at the VP level to find a job within a week, especially if their company’s closing came as a complete shock to them? Most people “forget” to keep networking once they are happily employed so when their company closes, they truly are starting from scratch. Besides, how many VP jobs in their specific industry are out there, not to mention vacant?

Job Seekers In-Transition: If you come across a job ad for a company who is disqualifying “unemployed”, and you still want to work there, here’s what you can do. First, don’t be discouraged -most things that show up in ads and seem like “requirements” have wiggle room for exceptions. In fact, you’ve experienced this many times before. How many times have you seen a requirement on the job posting that you do not have? Has that ever stopped you? OF COURSE NOT!!! Your job is to find the hiring manager or the Department VP or the CEO and to settle the score on why you are the best person for the job. Consider this strategy:

Dear President of RudeRUs, Inc.

I recently discovered an ad for your open “WorkAlot” position on Monster and wanted to introduce myself to you as an ideal candidate. For the past 10 years I was a “WorkAlot” in a similar company who received outstanding performance reviews from all of my supervisors. I have attached a list of references on the following page which I invite you to call. They will tell you that I was a top performer who received recognition year after year for saving the company billions of dollars. My position was eliminated when my employer was acquired about a year ago.

You may wonder why I am writing to you instead of applying to your HR department. It’s simply because the ad posted by your hiring manager or HR department states that the “unemployed need not apply”. Based on my research about your company and your successful career history, it seems like the decision to include this hiring stereotype in your company’s ad could not have been yours, so I wanted to be sure that you could personally make the decision on whether my background would be suitable for your company.

I look forward to having the opportunity to learn more about the position and to eventually joining your company as a “WorkAlot.”

Sincerely yours, John DoesntTakeNoForAnAnswer Doe

Absolutely Abby’s Advice

In this market, thinking outside the box remains the fastest way to the finish line for job seekers. Don’t let few discouraging words turn you off to a job posting that you know you’ll be a great fit for despite your gap in employment.

Abby Kohut, who is known on the web as Absolutely Abby, is the President of Staffing Symphony, LLC. In the past 15 years, Abby has presented to over 100 groups and was recently interviewed on ABC’s Good Morning Connecticut, WKTU-FM, WOR-AM, WDVR-FM, and the Joe Franklin show on Bloomberg Radio. Her books “Absolutely Abby’s 101 Job Search Secrets” and “Absolutely Abby’s Top 12 Interview Questions Exposed” teach candidates secrets about the job search process that other recruiters won’t tell you. She can be reached via her website www.AbsolutelyAbby.com.

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