Unhirable [Featured]

What Does ‘Unhirable’ Look Like?

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UnhirableWe all know it’s illegal for hiring managers to discriminate against age, race, religion and sexual orientation.

What’s NOT illegal is the ability to discriminate against you for being unemployed.

A recent 60 Minutes episode highlights a non-profit program in Connecticut designed to help the long-term unemployed with a “Platform to Employment.”

(Nice work, Joe Carbone!)

What I like about this program is it deals first and foremost with the stigma of unemployment. I call it the ugly “U” word and have so for years.

In fact, I won’t let my CareerHMO members call themselves “unemployed.”

Instead, I make them refer to themselves as “between jobs” as a way to remind themselves their situation is temporary. Unless you’ve experienced what these folks have, you honestly can’t imagine the crisis of confidence that overpowers you when your most basic needs of survival are threatened. It paralyzes you with fear, and yet, you need confidence in order to get a job – how about that for irony!

For me, this program is just further proof people who lose their jobs and can’t find work need some serious coaching in order to get themselves to place where they are employable.

It’s not just about the resume or LinkedIn profile, it’s about developing a mindset that’s attractive to hiring managers… which is pretty tough to do when you are feeling isolated and alone.

All that being said…

Let’s face it, we’ve all met, or even know somebody who has been between jobs for some time and thought, “I can see why they are still out of work.” The sad truth is without realizing it, they are projecting a personal brand that screams, “I’m not a good hire.”

Tell us: What makes someone “unhirable” today?

I’d like to hear from our readers what you’ve seen out there.

What are the unemployed doing wrong?

Share in the comments below some of the worst things you’ve seen job seekers do.

What do you feel is keeping them unemployed?

Unhirable image from Shutterstock

J.T. O'Donnell

Job Search & Career Expert. Syndicated Speaker & Author. Wife. Mother. CEO of CAREEREALISM Media. Connect with her on Twitter or LinkedIn.

58 comments

  1. My sister recently applied for a job at a bank in North Carolina. She was interviewed. When she called to seek the status of the job she was told that “she said I was unhireable ….. she said that was all she could say..”. I think it only fair that she be told why. What can she do to get an answer?

  2. The job seeker must stay informed about today’s economic and business trends in order to accurately access their fit and value to today’s marketplace. What you WERE may not be relevant or valuable to employers today. The greater the gap between what you have to offer and what the market needs now – the longer your search. Put yourself in the shoes of the business owner – what value can you deliver going forward?

  3. There is no pat answer. I believe that it doesn’t matter about your education or experience as much as whether or not they like you. I recently had an interview for a company who is very selective, and I did not like the person I would be supporting and he did not like me either. I could tell, we did not “click” at all. There were several others interviewing, needless to say they did not like any of us as the job has recently been re-listed. It is all about timing, and first impressions, and being somewhat psychic.

  4. Want to know what “unhirable” looks like? Try being on a sex offender registry for a minor offense that would not even have been a crime a few years ago. You will become “unhirable” and basically a non-citizen as fast as you can say the word “registry”.

  5. I agree with Johnathan Baker. Not enough jobs for the 2 million people out of work in the LA/Southern California area. There are only 500 jobs and some of those jobs may not be near your home. With gas at $4.27 a gallon, can you really expect someone to drive 40 or 50 miles ONE WAY to work? Another reason? The Inland Empire is not a happening place as far as hiring goes, unless you want to work in retail as a cashier or in sales of insurance. AND for that, you need a license to sell insurance, which, takes money to take the test and for the lisence.

    For me, a negative attitude kept me well, negative. I changed my attitude in 2011 and I found a job Nov 2011 (and yes, I did have to spend hours online applying for 60-80 jobs a week online). When my attitude changed from “I’m going to die from not working for 5 years in a row” to “I WILL BE okay if I go another year of not working for pay”. I started to smile. People started to talk to me more. I did volunteer in 2011 and I’m still volunteering, and I’m currently looking for more volunteer work. But I will be okay. A positive attitude helps a lot but you got to put in applications online and do the foot work.

    • Good for you, Sandra and congratulations on getting that job!

      So many people just don’t get how much your attitude can affect your success, or lack of it (with job hunting and in many other things). Yes the economy is bad, there are not enough jobs and competition is fierce. Which is all the more reason to embrace anything that could possibly help your chances and discontinue anything that hurts your chances further and only makes you feel worse.

  6. We all seem to be forgetting the mathematics of today’s job market. 358,000 people filed for unemployment last week for the first time versus a much smaller number of jobs created last month. There simply are too few jobs and there is nothing on the horizon that says millions of new jobs are going to be created any time soon. Like the housing market, there are no levers that will cause the economy to grow significantly in the next few years. I don’t care how you dress or present yourself at an interview, the math doesn’t change. Employers have all sorts of odd and arcane reasons for not hiring people, so stop beating yourself up.

    At this point the only one you can depend upon is yourself. This is a great time to try other things such as starting a small business, do volunteering to practice skills that might open up out career opportunities, or go back to school to learn a new trade or skill.

    The original question was “What is holding you back from being hired?” For myself, besides age, a high-level of skills, a reasonable need for a real income, the primary reason I’ve not been hired is that the field I worked in, technical communication, has collapsed. Five or six years ago the professional association for my field had 24,000 members. Today that number is more like 6,000. In 1999, the job listings for the field in my area were running at about 100 new listings a week. In the last 3 years, I don’t think that the listings have hit 100. No amount of new suits, ties, smiles, is going to change the fact that the field has changed. And your chosen field may well have changed, too.

    To me the biggest issue most of us have is that we need to get past our past and move on to whatever we want to be in the future.

  7. I have been doing part time consulting work in the field of risk management for 4 years now since I lost my full time job. Reasons that might contribute to my position are: age discrimination (I am aged over 50 but look younger than my years); inadequate networking (I just haven’t gotten out enough); previously in a senior role in a sector of financial services industry that has not been respected (credit rating agencies) and where skills not always seen as transferrable; poor (or no) counseling advise on types of companies or employment where reception to older workers is more open.

  8. What makes someone unhirable today? What are we doing wrong? I saw we, because I am unemployed, “between jobs”…Frankly, I could say I am a student, It doesn’t matter to me whether I say I am between jobs or unemployed. I want to work again and I want to have fun working.

    Glenda made a good point by saying we fail to ask for help. That’s me. I like to believe I am a super woman of sorts. I still like to feel I can do it on my own. Is that where the Business of One comes in? I don’t think so, which is why we should network. I have people behind me who are looking for a position for me. Someone just last week said they were looking at my LinkedIn profile to see who they might know who could help. Use alumni groups and contacts. Get out. I ran a fit club for a while. Even though I recently cancelled it because of low participation, I still work out on my own. Don’t give up on yourself.

    I understand Susan’s point about not having specific skills. Like her, I feel I can learn anything. Do I really need seven years of experience writing submissions to obtain an entry level regulatory position? I find that even with two technical degrees, I am required by some to take basic math tests. Also, I find that companies want various certifications. How many feel that before too long degrees will become obsolete? Even if they do, that doesn’t discount the ones I have. But I did find myself getting a few certifications to be competitive.

    Like Lida said be proud of who you are and what you accomplished. When I think about what I’ve done, I feel better about myself. But like George said being “in between gigs” can be demoralizing. I fill out applications before offers are made and I take the tests I’m asked to take.

    Don’t give up. Like Yokoynonne said look for jobs at companies that are like you. I felt desperate in my attempts to find another temporary gig. In my desperation, I was selling myself short by apply for just any job. I feel that devalues you from the beginning. That is another thing I was doing wrong. Maintain your focus.

    I want to comment too about something Sean said about leaving dates off your resume when you attended school. Not only have I started doing that. I have also recently started leaving some of my education off my resume, an MBA. Today in an interview the question came up i.e. “so what have you been doing since you’ve been out of work?” Of course, I wanted to let the manager know I haven’t been twiddling my thumbs but improving my skills and knowledge. This was another eye opener for me though. I do not want to be unhirable because I have too many degrees. I also do not want to be in a position where I cannot apply my knowledge. Focus. Focus for me says to put the MBA back on the resume. What do you all think? Do the people here feel I should add that info back to my resume?

    David, I have felt the same about how I look. Despite being the athlete in the family, I pretty much gave up, got out of shape, and stopped working out and competing. So I couldn’t even fit into the new “interview suits” I bought. Even though now I have all the time in the world to train, I put on the brakes and stopped. I put the same brakes on my job search. I stopped looking. I stopped networking. I shut down.

    But I couldn’t stop running and I can’t give up my search for that next “gig”. Last November, I read a piece called “Bound for Better” in a magazine. The article talks about rejection and says: “(1) people reject us when we exceed their expectations, (2) people reject us when the timing is off, and (3) people reject us when we don’t meet their expectations.” I know this isn’t rocket science. But we are being directed to what is better for each one of us. Running makes me feel better and is a great stress reliever. Everyone stay healthy and stay in the game.

  9. Reviewing the comments, thus far, I see one item missing; persistence is a key to success. It takes time to cover all bases in the suggestions given. My LI profile has up front my email (job seeker’s email) address and my cell phone with directions for the reader to contact me there. I have a Twitter account and follow companies of interest on it; also I have a TweetMyJobs account working for me. I don’t use my Face Book for job searching, though. There is also my blog out there to add to my web presence. What is not helping me is my background; almost two decades with one employer as a technician, 5 college degrees, and my current pursuit of a PhD. I have been told by some that I price myself out of the market, lacking experience in my field of choice and far beyond the capabilities of the work I have once performed as a technician, hence, “unhirable”; others have pointed me to the other side of my goals with much encouragement where a PhD becomes an asset to a firm’s resume. Being stuck on the path is where my conundrum is most troublesome, but it is persistence which won’t let me stop and give up, just to sit down in the middle of the path.

  10. I had a candidate that sounded pretty good on the phone screen so we brought her in. I was so unimpressed with her during the interview that I cut it short and canceled her other appointments. I could not present her to my colleagues and manager to waste their time. She did not have a pad and pen to take any notes and did not have any prepared questions. She was quite seasoned and said she had several interviews so I was very surprised at her lack of this basic skill set for interviews.

    Others that turn me off talk too much about how their career will blossom in our company and how much it will be a great fit for them. They spend too much time focusing on themselves and not enough on what they can do for me/our company.

    And the cardinal sin with me is to answer my question but not really answer what I had asked…listening is sooo important. Sometimes they just don’t understand the question and answer in a different direction, which can be corrected if they check back with the interviewer as to whether they are providing what the person was looking for. And sometimes, they just go on and on and talk way too long until they may have even forgotton the question. I suggest no more than 2 minutes talking before checking in and sometimes sooner if they are reading the other person effectively and can tell listener is lost or has a question about what is being said.

    Fit is so important and will make or break the interview. If the person has some of what I need from technical perspective and has a great connection with me/really “gets it” and would fit in well with the team, I am more inclined to hire than a better technical fit but high maintenance (too much talking) or other quirks that may reduce productivity.

    • I can honestly say that recruiters like you disgust me. You see only your point of view and exhibit a selfish and power hungry personality. There are worse things to deal with in our world than an applicant that you just don’t “connect” with in your cookie-cutter schema.

      Just a bit more until I’m done venting. Recruiters such as yourself really need to face unemployment and debt in an unexpected disaster, maybe then you will be a little more humble and understanding of different personality types. Selfish, arrogant first-world whining about what kind of candidates you “connect” with just makes me sick. Some of the most genius and talented workers are horrible at interviews but are insanely stellar in their work ethic.

      Seriously, find another job. Let someone who loves people fill your role.

  11. I am over sixty and when I went to the open cattle call (are we animals) I tell people that I should have dressed in skin tight jeans and wore thigh high boots. This is the way the young girls were dressed for the job I was applying for. I have been asked more than four times when I fill out a job application. My age is something that doesn’t change while applying for a job. Plus the drop down box question is “are you over forty?” My question is “have I lived past a expireration date?”

  12. I understand why some people who have been unemployed long term are discouraged. If you have been unemployed for more than one year and you aren’t getting any interviews after you have done all the right things -apply for jobs, Job clubs, LinkedIn, networking any chance you can with a positive attitude, attend job fairs, etc. It’s difficult to remain positive when you can’t get an interview at all. Talk to a recruiter at a job fair and they tell you to apply online.

    When you are worried about paying your bills and your unemployment has run out, (all savings is gone) then yes, people start to feel desperate. I think some people are making assumptions here that all long term unemployed are giving off negative vibes, they don’t dress appropriately for interviews, etc. There are some of us doing all of the right things – smiling, researching companies, being prepared for the interview, etc. and we can’t get a break and get an interview or a job!!!

    How would you feel if you’ve done all the right things and can’t get a break?

  13. Between jobs? That’s pretty hard to swallow if someone has been out of work for a couple of years. The next question would be “And what have you been doing in that time?” For me the answer is always, looking for a job. And that may be off-putting. I’m not picky, I apply for jobs that I know I can do and for which I am qualified. In the last 2 years I have had one, ONE interview. I have tweaked and retweaked my resume and cover letter. Perhaps it is because I’m not up in fashion (my clothes are old, but in good shape–just out dated). Perhaps it is the gray that is fast beginning to take over. But I come prepared, dressed, clean, and interested in the position. I even have questions to ask that I believe will help me find out more about the job and the company’s needs. Or maybe it’s because I don’t have specific skills. For example, in the last interview I was asked about Excel. I’ve used it but not to the extent that employers want. I have taken several on-line Excel courses but if you don’t use what you have learned in a current job it makes it difficult to carry into a new “real” job. However, it does show I can learn new programs and that should be a plus. Schooling is so out of the question right now because I don’t have the money to attend. It comes down to my skills, where they are and whether they want experience or someone new. Being over 50 or even creeping up into the 60s is not going to help the older worker unless the mindset of the American employer changes. I keep plugging along hoping to find something that I match. I believe there is something out there for me. I just wish it would come soon.

    • Hi Susan, I’m a 56-year-old Japanese who look for a job in this tough economy. We’re in the same boat but I didn’t write you to weep about our misfortune together. You say you have experience with Excel. How about Word and PowerPoint ? These software changes , so have you kept up to date your Excel skill ? If on-line courses don’t teach you advanced skills, you can learn them with books, can’t you ? That’s what I thought after reading your post.

    • Susan, create an Excel spreadsheet to keep track of who you applied to, when you applied, how applied, contact name, etc… This will at least help a little bit in keeping the Excel skills from getting too rusty.

    • Have you tried applying for a job in human services (people with special needs)? That field usually provide the necessary training and often appreciates mature employees with a work ethic.

  14. I speak to career networking groups about the power of the first impression to ace an interview. Many candidates fail to prepare properly, dress appropriately, or rehearse their performance.

    David’s comments are very accurate. Hiring managers can be 10-30 years younger. Older candidates often show up looking matronly and weathered. Among my tips: Show up 10 minutes before the interview; Don’t be overly familiar with the receptionist. Pass on the beverages; good eye contact, strong handshake, smile, walk with purpose, turn off cellphone, leave nonessential items in the car (handbags for example) sit up straight. Be aware of your own body language and that of the hiring manager.

  15. I think at the end of the day for all of us going through a transition, we need to constantly focus on all the skills/talents we have brought/ will be bringing to an organization. I strongly suggest to review your resume a couple of times a week and get “excited”/”fascinated” by all of your accomplishments that even though, they look neat on paper, the steps to get each of them there were not easy. That should give everyone a boost! Be proud of who you are and what you have accomplished in the past and best of all, what you will be bringing in the next opportunity. Also, by reading all the comments above, it is a MUST to work on your interviewing skills and make sure you are being the best representative of yourself. It’s not easy but still it is not an excuse for us not to do our very best even though the results have not been seen yet. I encourage everyone to keep moving forward regardless of the situation out there, give 100% in dedication, commitment and perseverance to finding that opportunity that will be a blessing to you and your family, and I assure you – soon we will see GOOD RESULTS. “Do not get discouraged” by rejection, instead learn from it and move forward!!!!!!

  16. What I did before to fill a hole in my resume was to list my 6 months of beta testing experience which is of course unpaid, it’s volunteer work. If need be a long term job seeker could help one day a week at a local soup kitchen or local food bank and list that time as experience. This is something I recommended in a couple of books I’ve written and on my career blog.

  17. I do a lot of recruiting for my company and here are a few things I see that consistently sink candidates:

    1) Speaking bad about your previous employer. Even if your old boss was an evil tyrant, hiring managers don’t like hearing dirty laundry during interviews. They begin to wonder: if you are talking bad about your old company, what will you say about your new company? Being able to speak diplomatically about bad situations and what you learned from the experience is the way to go.

    2) Being “in between gigs” for a long period of time can be demoralizing. Especially when you have done everything you are supposed to in a job hunt and nothing pans out. I’ve talked to quite a few long term unemployed folks who’ve become really jaded and bitter and that really comes through in their interviews. A candidate once told me he wasn’t going to fill out an application until we were ready to make an offer, because he was tired of filling out applications and not getting hired. Try to stay positive during interviews, no one want’s to hire someone they perceive as having a bad attitude.

    3) References. Once my company was ready to make a job offer to a 99er. However, not one of this persons references contacted us back. Not this persons last supervisor, nobody. So they went with the person who references we were able to speak to.

    Hiring managers are really risk adverse, and many are petrified of making a bad hiring decision. If hiring managers can’t find someone who can directly speak to your work, they are less likely to take a chance on you.

    Your networking should include your references as well. Take them out to coffee (if you can afford it) or even a check in phone call once and a while. Stay on their radar.

  18. Curious to know how many of the responders are, or were, unemployed, or are many of the responders HR/coach types helping folk obtain work in their field or through a career change.

    • I fall into both categories: I am (among other things) job search and career development advisor for a grad school program (I direct the program) and also teach resume writing classes and other job hunting classes, moderate panel discussions for job hunters, do resume reviews, manage an online job bank and more, for another organization. I have been laid off twice in my career; in 2005 and last year.

  19. As I approached two years as unemployed or underemployed, I realized I has let myself get out of shape physically. All of a sudden I wasn’t just older (age 61), I was unattractive as well as being unemployed. I reallocated my meager budget to join my city’s recreation center for it’s fitness center and fitness classes. I watched my diet, I made sure my interview suit was always pressed. I convinced a friend who is a hairdresser that she could be a contributor to my new, hireable, image. In six weeks I was able to look an interviewer in the eye and answer his “What activities do you enjoy away from work?” question with “I run 5 miles a week.” I started work one week later. Two years later I’m at the same company. I’m now running 10-15 miles a week. Best thing I ever did for me was to get in shape so I would be attractive to hiring managers.

    • Running is wonderful also for stress relief and builds confidence and strength (physical and mental). This is excellent advice, and inspirational too.

  20. Thank you everyone for commenting here – and please keep them coming! I think it’s important for us to see how misperceived those that are between jobs can be. They can’t change if they don’t know how they are sending the wrong message – your comments and ideas help everyone who is looking for work say, “Hmm. Am I doing those things?” And that is the kind of Ah-ha Moment many job seekers need to change their strategy, and ultimately, change their results!

  21. Sometimes the unemployed are so stressed out about being unemployed they fail to ask for help and/or seek counsel and sound advice in a timely fashion, which delays them jump starting the process of transitioning to a new opportunity be it full-time, part-time or consulting. Even more important is the need to understand how the job market has evolved and how to utilize social media especially LinkedIn as a job search tool.

  22. Things here, emotionally, got so bad that I sent your daily emails to the spam folder. Only by some fluke did your email make it to my inbox this morning. Having placed myself into that group of tweeners who are struggling, can’t a big part of the blame for this problem be placed on the economic situation? Not everyone is inept in their job-hunting approach. There are tons of people doing all the right things and still haven’t landed, due to the fact that there are more jobseekers than there are jobs.

    • Carlton, you are absolutely right – the economy is everyone’s biggest obstacle. But some people are giving themselves other (unnecessary) obstacles. That’s what J.T is asking about – “what are they doing wrong?”

  23. More than anything else I see negativity – job hunters constantly looking for someone to blame for their unemployment, angry that they are unemployed, endlessly complaining (even at professional networking events, on listservs, and *to recruiters and interviewers*!) about how difficult it is to get a job. And many have NO IDEA that their negativity is hurting their professional reputation, turning off people who are in (or could be in) their network, and making their job search even harder.

    There are not all that many jobs out there, that’s true. But there are some, and the people who are getting those few jobs are not the ones who are negative and complaining all the time.

    • Ellen I couldn’t agree with you more about your comments re: negativity. That is a huge one!!!!! I have been there. Being between calls for us to really look at ourselves and be willing to step out of our comfort zone and we have to go out and look vs waiting for it to land in our laps.

      I think the ability to access the info that much faster with the internet also strikes fear into people. 20 or 30 years ago was a pretty yukky time but it wasn’t known as being so. My dad was between jobs back in that period but we went full out travelling the country stepping out in faith, meeting new people really evaluating himself and he did find work on the other side of the country so he up and moved his family to where the work was. I personally believe there are opportunities in this “bad economy” but we have to put our PI hat on and go for it.

  24. I have a young sounding voice. I’ve had successful at phone screens/technical interviews. Once I’m invited in for an in-person interview I also do well and get the cold shoulder with no feedback. Now I’m not someone who lives in the past. I use linkedin, twitter, have a blog, I update hair clothes makeup, get regular face maintenance but you can’t hide almost 60 in a new high tech world. I just got a job offer for a great company still high tech but has been in business for 25 years. My point is look for jobs at companies that are like you. Companies that have been around the block where you will add value and feel comfortable fitting in.

  25. The HECK they don’t age-discriminate! No matter how rich and tempting your resume, and no matter what kind of give-away it is to leave off graduation dates, if you are over 50, seeing you in real life is an even bigger give-away. One look at your (still charming!) face and body, and they “have other candidates still to interview, thank you.”

    And a question for anybody: What if your blog is a humor column about zippy life in the slow lane? Am I supposed to make a special column to discuss dignified employment-related experiences? Boooooooorrrring! Wanna see what I mean? (Even my blog title is scary!)

    Check out: http://grandma-lorie.blogspot.com/

    • Lorie, I love your blog. Your personality comes through loud and clear. You could create a separate category for unemployment experiences if you wanted. It is strictly up t you. I blog on WordPress so I am not sure how Blogspot works.

      Don’t be afraid to showcase your blog, at least you are not blogging about adventures through widowhood like me. ;-)

      That subject really freaks some people out.

      http://joyreturns.com

  26. 2nd Tiffany’s comment on shotgun approach to job hunting, whether the person is remotely qualified for a posting or not. Don’t waste your money on “services” that fax / email your resumes to hundreds of companies.

    Not demonstrating that they’re keeping up with their field, keeping their skills current and still belong to industry-related groups. We encourage clients to get involved with appropriate volunteer opportunities so it doesn’t look like they’re just sitting at home web surfing and collecting an unemployment check.

    Don’t apologize, don’t try to explain what happened: just move forward and be open to the unexpected.

    • Thanks, Martha. I get countless emails from resume services, claiming that it is to my benefit to do this. Why? So that I can be another person they can add to their testimonials? No thanks.

  27. I am not so sure that sexual orientation is a protected class. In fact I know it is not. It is OK to discriminate against GLBT persons in housing, medical care, employment, marriage, all areas of life where others enjoy protected status.

  28. “We all know it’s illegal for hiring managers to discriminate against age, race, religion and sexual orientation.”

    Actually, sexual orientation is not covered by EEOC regulations. Only some states have chosen to include protection against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in their hiring laws.

  29. One reason a person is unemployable, is when he/she makes it difficult to contact him/her. You would not believe the number of LinkedIn connections that I have who are “looking for opportunities” that do not have an email address or a telephone number available in their LI profile for people who are not first level connections. Why waste a limited InMail to contact someone who doesn’t want to be found?

    A successful job hunter needs to display their contact information at the top of their “Summary” and “Contact XXX For” sections. Both the email AND the telephone number need to be where hiring managers, recruiters, etc. can find them. It is time to make it easy for these busy individuals to contact potential employees.

    I call this job hunting problem the Being Stealth and Hiding syndrome.

    • Some people leave off their emails for a reason: to hide the fact that they selected that name when they were less-than-coherent. And the telephone number? No explanation needed on that one.

      • Tiffany – if someone has an inappropriate email address (and some of my clients do), I advise them to open a gmail account with .@gmail.com, and start sing that one for business purposes. It’s equally simple to change the primary email account on your LinkedIn account. It takes less than a minute, and it very effectively solves the problem of not wanting to share “lusciouslips123@hotmail.com”. In general, I discourage my clients from using hotmail altogether; many companies route email from hotmail accounts straight to the spam folder. And how about investing in a cheap cell phone, month-to-month, and use that as your primary contact number? Dispose of it when you’ve found the job – problem solved.

        The broader issue is that too many people are not strategic about social media to begin with. I’ve Googled candidates and have found all sorts of inappropriate stuff. Blog rants about a co-worker or a boss, blurry photos with a Margharita in each hand… Of the two – the blog rant is probably more damaging…

    • I thought it was against the LinkedIn TOS to have your email listed in your summary.

      I have it listed in my contact information but just recently found out it’s only visible to 1st connections.

      Also I’ve been told twice in the last week that I need to get rid of my aol email because employers will consider you “out of touch”. Seems more than petty to me.

  30. There are 3 things that come to my mind.

    1) Not Smiling. There is a person in my job seekers group who rarely smiles. I can only imagine what it is like interviewing someone with such a serious, depressing look. Smiling is the best beauty secret I know.

    2) Not updating appearances. Job seekers need to quit wearing the same hairstyle they wore back in the 80′s. Again, I am thinking of the same person in my job search group. Looking like I just stepped out of the 80′s is something I have always been paranoid about.

    3) Not embracing technology. 99% of the people in my job search group had a hissy fit when I suggested they blog, or use other forms of social media besides LinkedIn. According to them, it is just too dangerous to use anything besides LinkedIn. Sometimes you just have to have faith. Again, the same person will not join the big job search groups in our area because the administrator creates a list of people looking for work and passes that list out to the entire group so they can connect with one another. This person does not want their personal information given out to others.

    The person in my group serves as a role model for me on how NOT to be.

    • Your third point: even worse, those who will use no other social media than Facebook. When I suggest that they widen their networks, the pearl-clutching and hand-wrenching become evident. They won’t do it because it’s not in their comfort zone. As to your comment about email addresses, I know why some of them won’t reveal them. Would you if you had an address that referred to a part of you anatomy or your personal non-work preferences? And they wonder why no one who is serious about filling an opening won’t contact them or even interview them.

    • You are right about not embracing technology and it is deadly to a job search – you would think blogging is expensive and painful the way some people avoid it!

  31. I wonder if saying “between jobs” is just a red flag? It’s like leaving the dates off when you attended school, which also says to me this person is hiding something. I believe there is a job for me out there, and it’s a matter of finding the right fit where my skills…and experience…match what that company is looking for. I will not give up hope.

  32. Yes, “between jobs” is what I’ve been calling it for some time now, it’s just more positive.

    As I understand it, New Jersey is the only state where you can’t discriminate against the unemployed by posting an ad saying “the unemployed need not apply”. As to what the hiring manager does after that, who knows?

    • Ken – I don’t even let my clients use the “in between jobs” to others – fine if that’s how they think of them selves, but to potential employers, I encourage them to have a richer response to the question “what do you do / where are you working now?”. We craft a narrative around the theme of refocusing their career: “I’ve been working as a for many years now, and I’ve recently decided that I really get excited about doing more of . Whenever I was involved in that kind of work, I found that I could bring tremendous value, and I’ve made a commitment to seek out opportunities that will let me do that.” I also encourage my clients to talk about the investment they’re making in their personal career: retaining a career coach. You’d be surprised at how many hiring managers, recruiters and others are completely impressed with that. It shows them you are serious about finding the right job, and are prepared to invest in yourself to get there. I also regularly evokes expressions of envy… “I wish I had the courage to do that”.

      • Thanks Emma – The expression is for my perspective of what this time is for me. My plan has been to investigate and evaluate company’s I’d like to work with then pursue them. I have no plan to just get a job but to continue my career. I know I’ll find the right opportunity with a little help from my network contacts along with my reputation and persistence.

  33. When I’ve interviewed unemployed people they tend to betray why they got fired or laid off in ways that are not very self aware. I’ve heard stories about multiple bosses “having it in for them,” lists of things they can’t tolerate in a work environment. I also hear a lot of evidence that the person has an external locus of control.

    • Indeed. Some people do not realize how self-defeating this action is. They think they have to “keep it real.” Not true. “Keeping it real” will keep you out of an opportunity.

  34. From personal experience, what I see are people randomly posting and mailing resumes to ANY and ALL openings. That screams lack of focus, in addition to lack of confidence.

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