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Cancer and Careers Guest Blogger on August 18, 2011
There has been a big buzz lately in the media about the fact that many American companies are blatantly discriminating against unemployed Americans. New York Times economics reporter Catherine Rampell recently wrote an article about the trend of help-wanted ads specifically asking for only the employed to apply.
I have been a career coach for nearly 12 years and in some of my former careers, I worked as a Recruiting Director for a consulting firm and as a contingency recruiter for an agency. I will tell you that this negative bias toward interviewing and hiring unemployed people has always existed. It was an often unspoken guideline that the unemployed were to be avoided when sourcing candidates. What has brought this to the attention of the media now is the large numbers of unemployed people along with the extended period of time it takes to find a job, especially one that is similar in level and compensation to the position that someone held prior to being laid-off.
It is currently not illegal to avoid interviewing unemployed people, although the state of New Jersey did recently pass a law barring employment ads that rule out applications from those who are unemployed. However, this doesn’t prevent potential employers or recruiters from denying an unemployed person an interview.
So, what should your strategy be if you are among the ranks of the almost 14 million Americans who have been out of work, in your case because you have had or still have cancer?
Finally, to conclude this blog post with good news…of the last eight people I have heard from who got new jobs, two were employed prior, and six were unemployed beforehand.
Julie Jansen is an executive and career coach and author, and most importantly to Cancer and Careers, one of our fantastic professional career coaches. Julie volunteers her time to help people working during or after treatment get the most out of their jobs/careers. Check out the CAC Career Coaching page here to ask your questions, or visit her website to learn more about what she does: www.juliejansen.net.