Some employers are unfortunately skeptical regarding unemployed applicants. Most of this skepticism is unwarranted and silly, and some inexperienced managers will reject unemployed candidates based on meaningless stereotypes. But if you’re an unemployed candidate, these managers aren’t the ones you need to worry about (you don’t really want to work for these people anyway).
The managers you need to impress are a different group altogether, and their attitudes run roughly along these lines: talented, experienced candidates who aren’t currently working are a valuable find. They’re more eager to impress, they’re more likely to accept the status quo, they’re flexible, they’re driven, and they’re often highly affordable.
The resume moves below can help you grab the attention of the employers in the second category, the ones who deserve your best work.
Five Things Employers Want from Unemployed Candidates
No matter your employment status, hiring managers want candidates who show these traits:
Chances are, you’re unemployed for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of your work. Cutbacks, restructuring, and poor decisions made by company leaders often leave smart, hardworking professionals out in the cold.
But when it comes to proving this to future employers, the burden lies on you. Your resume will need to make it clear that your capabilities and your current unemployed status have absolutely nothing to do with each other.
Negative circumstances, hard luck, and long grueling job searches sometimes make people weary, bitter, and cynical. This may be a perfectly human response, but when it comes to the job search, this attitude just won’t sell.
Show that you’re the kind of person who can shake off rainy weather and see the upside in everything. The two hundredth day of your search and your two thousandth resume submission should be just as positive and confident as your first.
3. Signs of Growth.
Sometimes your unemployed status DOES have to do with the quality of your work, your ideas, your attitude, or your behavior. In this case, you may as well be honest with yourself and accept that the moves you made in the past weren’t perfect.
But that was the past. And in the interim, you’ve had plenty of time to rethink and reset. Our mistakes and the things we learn from them can make us strong and resilient. They can also build knowledge and experience in our areas of expertise. Let your employers know that you’re capable of learning, growth and change.
4. Skill Set Specificity & Rarity
If nobody else in the world possesses your unique combination of valuable skill sets, then your employment status doesn’t really matter to the people who need those skills sets. For example, if your reviewers need a French-speaking, CPR-certified expert on the geological formations of southeastern Ontario, one who happens to have five years of XTML coding experience, then that’s what they need. They want these specific skills, not an unbroken track record of employment (which isn’t that rare at all, and is quite frankly a bit boring and limited.)
Let Your Brilliance Shine
A great resume can let your future employers know that you’re a highly skilled professional and you have no intention of letting your current circumstances hold you back. Employed or otherwise, you’re the one they need. Visit LiveCareer for tools that can help you send this message.