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?