Job Seeker Blog - Spark Hire

Long-Term Discrimination

To the unemployed the reality that the longer your stay unemployed the worse your chances are of landing a job should come as no surprise. We, the at some point unemployed, know that sneaking feeling in the pit of a job seeker’s stomach the more time elapses between resume lines. Job seekers line up in desperation to find a job, if not just to keep afloat financially in the short-term, but to also avoid that pesky problem of long-term unemployment. Now, a new study, says that isn’t just neurosis, it may be a very real fear as the study finds that job seekers with long-term unemployment face significant discrimination.

Researchers sent out 3600 resumes, varying length of unemployment, how often a person switched jobs, and industry experience. They kept all other information relatively the same, with all candidates being males of indistinguishable ethnicity and race. What the study found was that long-term unemployment was the biggest factor in weeding candidates out, even ahead of previous industry experience. For the purposes of the study, long-term unemployment was considered an over six-month period of unemployment.

This latest study should have job seekers understandably worried. Without even trying they may be limited in their job search just because they have been unemployed for awhile. Skills and experience may be disregarded if you’re facing long-term unemployment, no matter the reason. This is why it’s important for job seekers to explore other options, at least in the interim, to avoid being branded unemployable as their unemployment term increases. If you find yourself struggling to find a job, try using a staffing or temp agency. Often with a temp agency you will be an employee of that agency, so even if you are still looking for permanent work, you can show you are looking, interested in finding employment, and employable.

Job seekers: don’t be caught in a cycle of long-term unemployment. Instead, find ways to keep yourself at least temporarily employed. The study showed that long-term unemployment was a more significant deterrent that frequent job changes so keep that in mind as you go on in your job search.

Do you think job seekers face long-term employment discrimination? Comment below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Bytemarks

Jen Schiller

Jen works as a Marketing Project Manager for a restaurant, a kitchen assistant for cooking classes, helps with database management, does some freelance writing, and more. She received her B.A. from the University of Maryland in Government & Politics in 2011. Currently, she resides in the Washington, D.C. area and is an avid sports fan.