How to Overcome Discrimination Against the Long-Term Unemployed

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How to overcome discrimination against the long term unemployedAs you might have noticed, folks with a long gap in their resume get a particularly hard time from HR reps and recruiters.

Why?

Because -- rightly or wrongly -- they assume there's something major that stops you from "holding down a job".

So if you find yourself in between jobs, your first priority should be to get *a* job, even if it's not your dream job. Because it stops you from getting a gap in your resume that might come back to haunt you later.

It's easier than most folks realize to get *a* job.

All you need to do is volunteer somewhere.

Every town has at least a few start-ups -- and start-ups are always happy to receive help, especially if it doesn't cost them anything. Or, you can find great volunteer positions on Idealist.org.

(As an added benefit, volunteering is a great way to make new friends, expand your professional network, and enrich your life.)

But what if you've been out of work for a long time?

Is there a way to make your job gap "magically" disappear?

Well, yes, there is, actually. Two ways actually. But neither are magic.

The first is to only list the years that you were employed for each job. That way, the gap between jobs is shrunk a little -- and, many times, an HR rep or recruiter will give you the benefit of the doubt.

However, there's a second technique, and it's a lot more powerful.

Here's what you do:

(1) Have you been involved in any "projects" during your time of unemployment? Now, the reason I put "projects" in scare quotes is because you might not think of them as projects. You might see them as "helping a friend move into her new

home" or "building my kids a treehouse".

(2) Retroactively create a consulting business for yourself. You don't need to register a corporation. You don't need to register anything. You don't need a website either. You just need to give it a name.

Now, it doesn't matter if you ever worked with real clients or got paid. That's now what we're saying here. What we're saying is that you set up your own consulting company and you did projects for people.

Is this lying? Is it unethical?

No. This is called framing.

We're not saying you did anything that you didn't. We're just giving it a new name and talking about it in a different way.

See? Now you don't have job gap anymore.

And -- provided you can prepare a few stories about your projects and explain to an interviewer why you decided to set up your own consulting business and why you no longer want to pursue it -- you no longer have a gap in your employment

record.

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Alan Carniol

Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 40,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.