Today’s New York Times has an article about how long-term unemployed Americans may never work again. And they say that this may be due in part to employers discriminating against people whose resumes say “unemployed” or “big gap”. This raises the question of why there are any such resumes.
I know a lot of people who are not working productively. They call themselves “entrepreneurs” and say that they are pulling together a startup. For about $500 they can even create an LLC so that their resume says “2013-present Big New Idea LLC: Founder and CTO” or whatever. That after a year or two their startup has not succeeded will not be held against them by a potential employer. After all, most startups fail or fizzle.
A friend’s daughter was trying to get her first job. Employers didn’t want to hire her because she had no work experience or references. So I edited her resume to say “Jane Smith Landscaping” [not her real name!], hired her to do some yard work, and put my name and phone number down as a reference. Having planted some daffodil bulbs, she went to her next interview as a self-employed person looking for an indoor job for the winter. She was hired.
Given that almost anyone can find work doing landscaping and call themselves a landscaping contractor, taking care of children and call themselves the founder of a child care center, etc., why are there resumes that say “I am unemployed.” If it is known that employers don’t like to hire the unemployed, why is anyone wearing a label that is essentially self-applied?