How To Overcome Long-term Unemployment Discrimination

How To Overcome Long-term Unemployment Discrimination

It’s no secret that most hiring managers and human resource professionals refrain from hiring job applicants who have been the victim of long-term unemployment, perpetual joblessness that a person has undergone for six months or more. At times, it can be very hard for an unemployed person to overcome this obstacle.

In recent years, there has been a push by public officials to pass legislation that would make it illegal for businesses to discriminate against those who have been out of work for long periods of time. This means that a job candidate can perhaps launch a lawsuit against a firm that refused to hire them because they were out of work for six months, one year or three years.

Companies defend themselves by presenting the case that they may not hire a person because their skills may be outdated or the integrity of their employment history may come into question. Whatever the case, there are a variety of less nefarious reasons as to why a firm would not hire a long-term jobless candidate.

Others disagree, including, Rand Ghayad, a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, who told the Wall Street Journal earlier this year that “Employers will actually not consider anybody who is out of work for more than six months, even if they have the same skills and more valuable experience than the short-term unemployed.”

There are other ways of overcoming long-term unemployment discrimination than filing lengthy, expensive lawsuits that would hurt the reputation of both the out of work person and the company.

Here are four tips to conquer the issue of long-term unemployment discrimination:


For someone who has been out of work for quite some time, their resume may feel like an embarrassment. However, you shouldn’t feel this way as long as you incorporate a few tips and tricks to make it stand out from the pile of hundreds of applicants: use relevancy as opposed to chronology, remove dates from your resume, update your summary (or objective) and produce a variety of resumes for different jobs.

Apply in-person, too

In a way, the Internet has made us very lazy. Rather than calling businesses or walking into a company and applying for a job, we simply head over to an online job board and apply through this medium. In order to make you appear different from the dozens of other online job applicants, walk into the place of business and ask to apply for a job. This adds the personal touch rather than Internet anonymity.


Let’s face it: we are our own brand in the intense labor market. What does one do with a brand? You market it to the fullest extent possible. Think about this: Coca Cola markets its Coke product, McDonald’s markets its Big Mac, Tim Hortons markets its Roll Up the Rim contest, Dell markets its latest line of computers. You should perform the same marketing scheme by building a social media presence, meeting with industry professionals, creating a personal blog and keeping yourself busy throughout the treacherous terrain of unemployment.


It’s easy to indulge in self-pity, morose feelings of contemptibility of one’s self. Never ever enter into this rut. Instead, remain confident, positive and happy, even during these tough times. If you haven’t shaven, been out of the house or exercised in the past three months then the hiring professional will notice this. Instead, if you have an interview for the first time in two months, look as if you just returned from a two-month vacation in the Bahamas, Florida or the French Riviera.

We all have a set of skills that make us different from other workers. The most important aspect to success is to believe in your professional abilities instead of questioning your own expertise. Any self-doubt will be observed by the interviewer, but self-confidence will be seen by the entire office.

How did you overcome the stigma of long-term unemployment? Let us know in the comment section.


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