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Companies won’t even look at resumes of the long-term unemployed

Washington Post - Posted by Brad Plumer on April 15, 2013 at 11:14 am


Just another indication of the stupidity of many companies and their managers!  They only look to short term objectives, not long term goals.


For those who have been unemployed for a while, maybe it's time you TAKE CONTROL and set yourself up in your own business.  Especially for service industry folks; low overhead to operate and very little to get started.


Unemployment Search/Activity List

By Kenneth Etter


I belong to several online 'groups', mostly associated with IT and my primary focus, EDI.  Recently one of the members of one of these groups sent in a post that said she had been laid off and wanted to some advice regarding what to do next.  Since I got laid off myself back in August, I thought I'd share what I have been doing and the following is my 2 to 3 cents worth.


1. File unemployment immediately. In most states there is at least a 1 week waiting period and some states may have more. In addition, if there is ANY issue with your filing, the sooner you file, the sooner you can work with your state's unemployment office to resolve it and start collecting your unemployment. Review and know your benefits, not only what you will receive each week but a lot of states have added additional weekly payments on top of the regular weekly benefit.


Also go in and talk with a representative and discuss what other benefits there are. I have an appointment tomorrow to discuss grants & other financial aid since I'm a former veteran and want to pursue my Biztalk MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist).  I received a grant through the State unemployment office during a prior unemployment period earlier this decade to pursue my MCSE.  This was awesome until the training company went bankrupt about 25% into the training and the money had been paid directly to the training company, so I had nothing to take to another company to continue.


2. Review and update your resume. Identify your primary responsibilities, systems and software you worked with. You may also want to review your overall format - when you post your resume to a number of different job sites, your resume is automatically scanned for keywords which are then used by employers to simplify and target their search. I place a summary of the primary skill set and other relevant experience directly below the objective or opening profile statement.   Then review it for syntax and grammar - typos are the biggest way to get your resume put into the circular file next to the HR's desk.


Finally have a friend or someone you trust review your resume - someone NOT in your industry. What you are looking for here is readability, clarity and possibly other ideas about how to make it better.  Remember your resume may initially be put in front of someone in HR, NOT IT or their EDI group/dept. If your reviewer doesn't clearly understand what you're applying for, then the HR manager probably won't either. If you are qualified for or interested in more than one area, then put together more than one resume format, highlighting the appropriate & individual skill sets for each area in a separate resume.


3. Create one or more Cover Letter templates. This is used to tailor and augment your individual resume submission for each job. While your resume should remain the same (or similar) for the same type of job, you can use the cover letter to specifically highlight those areas of your resume to immediately bring that to the attention of the HR Manager or person who will be making the decisions who to bring in to interview.


4. Review and CONFIRM your references, then put together an independent reference list. I just read an article yesterday that companies are reviewing and almost 'interviewing' your references to find holes in your own resume and story. Make sure you know who is a good reference and what they will say about you. I often do an anonymous follow up with someone I have as a new reference if I have any question about how good a reference they will provide and what they will say about me when they get that call.


5. Get an account and add your resume AND job history on




    • Your state career site, if one exists. I live in Indiana and we have I have found there are jobs being posted on there that do not exist on the previous three sites.

    • Another good site to use, which does not require an account, is - this is a metasearch engine that will search multiple job sites at once.


6. Set up job agents on each of the above, if possible, to start provide automated job searches. This way you get automatically notified when new jobs fitting your criteria show up on a particular job site.


7. Brush up on your interview skills. Your resume will get you in the door, but you have to sell yourself once you get there. If you haven't done a job search or interviewed in a while, it can be pretty scary doing it the first several times.


8. Network, Network and Network - Join as another member already suggested. Add your job history and relevant skills. Once you have, start a search for other members from your last company and any companies before that, THAT WILL PROVIDE A POSITIVE RECOMMENDATION. Be careful and know who you are adding to your network. Also 'know your enemies'. A lot of employers are now using sites like LinkedIn to find your coworkers and since a lot of people include contact information, will use them to do a check without your knowledge. Ethical - No, but it's happens. Once you find those 'positive' coworkers, send them an invite to connect. After you get then to connect, request a recommendation. A recommendation can do a lot to support your skill set and contributions to your former company. If you want a starting place, you can view my public profile at or full profile once you become a member.


9. Network, Network, Network - contact any and all coworkers, friends and professionals and if you're good at striking up conversations with strangers, do that as well. You never know who may have a lead for you, as the one contributor found out when they talked to a friend at a soccer game.


10. Review the above job sites once a week or so and does your own custom searches. While you may have job agents set up, you may also find something that's slightly outside your current criteria that may be a good hit for you or may indicate you have made your job agent too narrow and you need to update it.


11. DO NOT JUST SIT AROUND. Find ways to keep yourself busy, whether volunteering, doing ad-hoc or formal consulting, pursuing that certification you didn't have time to do while you were working 60 hours at your last job, etc. There's no telling how long it may be before you find a new job and it looks a lot better to potential employers if you can show you kept yourself busy and motivated. And one of these ad-hoc consulting gigs or even the volunteer opportunities can lead to your next new job. The discussions about grants and other financial aid back in #1 can help pay for that certification, if you qualify. As I mentioned above, I am working on my Biztalk MCTS and also reviewing programs at all the state schools in Indiana to enroll and complete my Bachelors (in Management) later this quarter or next quarter. Once I decide on a school, I'm going after additional state and federal financial aid (see besides the grants and initial aid I'm seeking for the Biztalk Cert. I've also been back in touch with the company I did consulting with the last time I was between jobs and have a potential small contract working with them.


12. DO NOT GET DISCOURAGED. It's your job search and only you can determine how successful you can and will be. If I weren't applying a lot of the actions items above myself, having only one (1) EDI job in Indiana on CareerBuilder for the last 30 days would be pretty darn discouraging.


13. I have a very spiritual side, so I add daily prayer in my job search. I don't believe in coincidence and I certainly can use the power of God in addition to everything above. Nothing against anyone who is Agnostic or Atheist, but I have my beliefs and can use all the help I can get right now both here and above :)


14.  Lastly, enjoy your family and renew those personal relationships.  Your family has been there all along, although your last job may have kept you from spending the quality time you wanted to.  Now is the time to renew that relationship with everyone in your immediate family and make up for that quality time in you may have been missing.  And they will be the ones you turn to for support and comfort during the coming days, weeks and possibly even months while you look for your next job.


Ok, the list turned into about a buck 95 instead of the original 2 or 3 cents, but you get the point. And I've been thru this multiple times this decade (between company bankruptcies, job outsourcing to other countries, Reduction in Force, department consolidations in other states, etc.) and have got most, if not all, of this down to a minor science. Figure the good Lord gives it to me where others might not take it as well.