Really? New report says it’s easier to find a job when unemployed

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For millions of unemployed Americans, it seems like the longer they’re out of work, the harder it is to find a job. Various studies and articles have also shown that employers often prefer to hire employed job candidates over unemployed ones. But now, results of a new survey are actually claiming the opposite; that unemployed job seekers are even more likely than their employed counterparts to find jobs.

The research, conducted by London-based YellowCat Recruitment, found that:

  • Eighty-two percent of out-of-work job seekers reported having a recent job interview, compared to only 51 percent of employed job seekers.
  • Fifty-two percent of unemployed job seekers reported having one interview in the past month, compared to 32 percent of employed job seekers.
  • Thirty percent of unemployed job seekers reported having two or more interviews in the past month, compared to 19 percent of employed job seekers.

Adam Richardson, the firm’s head of communication, believes that the shift is due to a new attitude on the part of employers. “Although it is true to say that being in a job gives you the security required to be flexible about your job search, it is no longer such a large obstacle when it comes to finding a new position,” Richardson said in a statement. “During the economic downturn many strong candidates were made redundant so therefore have valid and understandable reasons for being out of work. Because of this, employers are no longer as skeptical about candidates who are not currently employed.”

Yet despite these encouraging results, much of the unemployed population may disagree with the survey’s findings, based on their own experience. And regardless of whether or not employment status helps or hinders job-search efforts, unemployment definitely presents its own set of challenges to job seekers.

Richardson himself acknowledges these challenges, saying in a statement, “Being in work helps you keep in the loop when it comes to your industry and will make spotting future opportunities much easier.”

So how can unemployed applicants be sure to put their best foot forward in a job search? Here are a few tips:

Stay in the loop. Like Richardson mentioned, being out of the loop can be a hindrance in a job search. Even though you are unemployed, be sure to keep up with the latest trends and changes in your industry. Subscribe to trade publications, follow industry leaders on Twitter, comment on relevant blogs and set up RSS feeds on key topics in your industry to help you stay in the loop.

Keep confidence up. A job loss can be damaging to self-confidence, especially since many of us base  a large part of our identity on our occupation. Yet being unemployed doesn’t mean that you should be resigned to feeling worthless. Volunteering at a local organization or at your child’s school, taking a class online or at a local community college, finishing your degree or setting a fitness goal for yourself are all ways to keep your confidence up during your search. After all, when else are you going to get the opportunity to get that Six Sigma black belt (or one in karate, for that matter)? Plus, your persistence will be sure to impress interviewers when they ask what you’ve been doing during your unemployment.

Decide to stay positive. Though unemployment is certainly one of the most difficult obstacles a person can face, making the decision to stay positive is one of the most important factors in overcoming the obstacle. Believing that you will get a job, finding joy and gratitude in other areas of your life, talking to family and friends and taking positive steps toward your goal will make you feel more encouraged and energetic during your search. Your positive outlook will also make you a much more appealing applicant to employers.

What do you think about employment status and job interviews? Do you think unemployed people really have a better chance at landing interviews, is it the other way around or doesn’t it matter?

29 Comments
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  3. It could be that fewer people are willing
    to leave a job with some seniority during
    bad times. It could also be that the unemployed are willing to be more flexible
    with salary and benefits.

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  12. Getting an interview is not the same as getting an employment offer. The information doesn’t indicate what levels of jobs were included in the survey. Also, because a currently employed job seeker must still do the work for his/her current job, they have a lot less flexibity in being available for interviews, than does an unemployed person. So, an employed person must be much more selective in deciding if and when to go to an interview. Again, getting an interview is not the same as getting a job, although it is difficult to get a job without having gotten an interview.

    Recent reports I’ve seen for the US (not the UK) still show that management respondents from much more than half of the companies recruiting have a preference for hiring people who are currently employed. In the same report, almost half of the hiring managers responded that they would not even consider someone who is currently unemployed. There still seems to be a widely held view, even in the current economic conditions, that someone who is unemployed must have been a poor performer or done something wrong in their previous job that resulted in them getting fired. Old beliefs die hard even in the face of evidence to the contrary.

    • Everything you state is “SPOT-ON”, however I would add few employers even grant interviews anymore to applicants that have been screened-out by internet computer as OVER-QUALIFIED (Simple legal by-pass, just require all employment history with dates! The U.S.Government has done this for decades!)

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  16. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that its easioer for the unemployed to job search, sure there options are open and as long as they have money to pay for public tranmsportation of gas for there own car, sure they’ll have a betetr opportunity and the time to find a job.
    There has to be couselars out there to assist these poor people to open doors and teach them there rights. There are companies out there that are sellective because of race, religion, gender and sexual orientation. Which is a blatetnet vioation of the equal opportunity employment act of 1963
    Its a employer’s marjet out there and there has to be accountabuility and overseerer on cases like this.

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  26. Its easier to find a job when your unemployed. You need to consider the following:-

    1. arranging interviews is a nightmare unless your in the type of job where you can sneak off for a couple of hours with no one knowing. You could accept an interview day & run the risk of a holiday request being rejected or have the stress of going sick & all the fake acting when you have to go back and get asked how you feel. Alot of companies do 2nd interviews`s doubling the stress.

    2. An interesting thing to add is never underestimate how SNOBBY & SHORT SIGHTED potential employers can be. The old saying get any old job to tied you over, is WRONG. I was an experienced finance graduate when i came back from travelling i worked nights in a petrol station to allow me to find work by the day. As soon a i mentioned what i was doing at the interview all they saw was a petrol pump attendant, not my qualifications or relevant experience.
    By contrast a couple of friends who were long term unemployed & waited, eventually landed jobs with good pay.

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