The longer you’re out…

The less likely you’ll be in. At least in Georgia.

Behold the depressing details in the AJC.

The writer, who no doubt has seen colleagues and friends disappear from a newspaper with a proud history, gets a quick jab at Congress (get in line) noting members “left town without extending benefits to the nation’s 15 million unemployed.”

It hasn’t been this bad since WWII, though Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks haven’t started a shooting an epic HBO series on “The Jobless Aftermath.” Yet. Georgia’s unemployment records only go back to 1976, when a certain local peanut farmer won the Presidency, and Karl Rove was but a young lad figuring out how he could blame the newly elected, but not yet inaugurated Georgia Governor for his epic fail.


…and this is why…

Because the unemployed are explicitly DISCOURAGED from applying. WTF? is an appropriate response. As is WTF!!!!!

Let’s use a bigger ladle for that bad news, because this is going on all over the nation. Think of the companies, smug recruiters, overworked, confused HR departments and anyone else that leaves the conference room thinking, “this is a great idea. It’ll save us lots of time and money wading through all the resumes we’ll get for this job.” We all know this is a fallacy, because most companies never see, acknowledge, admit to receiving, or care about a vast majority of resumes, applications and cover letters they get from desperate, often without-hope job seekers. It’s like the whole nation has turned into unionized autoworkers in Detroit, easy to blame scapegoats for a system that discards blue, white and pink collar workers, the “unskilled” and MBA’s with equal vigor. It’s downright democratic! There’s a special place in hell for boneheads who not only punish people who are out of work but blame them for their circumstances. (It’s starting to sound like a GOP talking point.) It’s a non-automated, always on the clock, windowless cube that has a phone with 100 lines ablaze all wanting to know if you received their application and cover letter.

The public awareness of this policy is a double edged sword. Sure, it’s great that the Huff Post did this story, to the brief embarrassment, perhaps, of the companies and firms involved. Will the policy change? Aw hell no. It’ll just be pushed underground, because the unemployed are a not a “protected class” that has to be accounted for in the hiring process. No EEOC help for you chump! Take solace in the fact they’ll still have to wade through your paperwork. Does that salve the burn?

Democratic warhorse John Dingell, who has served in Congress since the 1st Grant Administration is still good for a money quote. “Being unemployed is not a choice many workers choose to make. I would hope that companies that are discriminating against the unemployed will take into consideration that this choice is only further contributing to long-term unemployment in our country.”

You can hope John, but make sure there’s a large stockpile of government cheese at the ready, because we can’t do a census every year.

A candid headhunter

One paragraph says it all.

“The one real issue with overqualified candidates is whether they will stay. When a person steps down a level, and takes less pay, there is a real risk they will be vulnerable to recruiters, or will even seek another opportunity, seeing your position as only a stop-gap, or a way station on the path to something better. We ask candidates directly, “Why wouldn’t you make a move next year if a higher paying more responsible position became available?” If a candidate doesn’t have a really solid answer to this question – they are overqualified, and then I wouldn’t recommend the hire.”

Two issues with the above statement. First and completely obvious, is this really a market that favorable to job seekers that the threat of recruiters “stealing” them away is a valid concern? If its an industry that is requires specific skills or talent, then being overqualified is not an issue. No one is overqualified. The second is blatantly unfair. Let’s ask the question from the other side of the desk:

“Why wouldn’t the company make a move and eliminate my job if they could replace me next year with a lower paid, but still viable employee with a different, but similar, job title?” They would, they will, and they do. All the time. The recruiter/hiring manager fear of an “overqualified” candidate jumping to the next, higher paying job is a total canard. Few people are switching companies these days. Most are thrilled to have a job (not necessarily the work or the company, just the employment) and few people have the the ability to take on the risk. The honest response is “overqualified” applicants come with too much potential baggage. Their own ideas, experience or a work style that may clash with the hiring manager. Fresh blood is cheaper and easier to mold. They’re also far less loyal, since they have no connection with the pension culture of our parents and grandparents, and the Gen Y work ethic can also be a challenge. Not that it matters in the end. The assumptions about workers that spend years building a career are usually too great to overcome. And that is truly a shame.

You’re doing it wrong

That is the summation from this brief Q&A article on job hunting in the Modesto Bee. And worse, it come with a smug, data-less answer.

“Go where your experience and education are needed. Ads give these clues. Researching companies with older workers will open up possibilities. Use more methods requiring you to call employers. Get into the right pond.”

Yeah! Look at the ads, they are filled with hints that you, dear aged, experienced job seeker, are obviously missing. Perhaps this feature was edited for space, and that there were examples of this mysterious “clues” that the questioner was missing. If not, this Q&A was pointless and borderline insulting.

Overqualified. So what?

The NY Times catches on to the “underemployed but happy to have a gig” phenomenon. A double-digit unemployment sign of the times, but to savvy employers, it’s a timely benefit.

Linkedin help, who knew?

Not I alas.

How often do you, or anyone you know, go all the way to the bottom of a Linkedin page? If you said “never,” and “no one,” you win. Or at least you are honest. On the left hand side of the page, there is a bold link that says “Customer Service.” What’s that you ask?

It’s a motherlode of tips.

Motherlode might be understating it. There are 54 pages of links, 10 to a page. (more than 800 total.) Be not afraid though, there is easily found relevance here, including a succinct 10 tips from the always-readable Guy Kawasaki.

Check it out, it’s probably worth the time.

Jobs, using a relationship metaphor

Americans are fast becoming “career monogamists,” instead of job hopping daters according to a new study.

Read it here.

So fewer and fewer people want to leave the safety and security of their current job, regardless of how soul sucking it may be, to try and find new career love in the worst job market in decades?

No s—.