How to Get Around “Unemployed Need Not Apply”

There are still a whole lot of unemployed people in America, and now, to make job searching harder, many ads are listed as “Unemployed Need Not Apply.” Employers want the freshest skills possible; however, this leaves the unemployed at a distinct disadvantage. While New Jersey has made posting ads like this illegal, technically, unemployment is not a status that is legally protected in most states. Employers can also weed out unemployed applicants for other reasons, too. However, there are ways to get around this:

*List your resume with a temp agency. You may get short-term work that you can then list on your resume. You may also get some benefits such as medical insurance through the temp agency. For example, if you have had several short-term gigs as a web content developer, then list yourself as a contract web content developer and the places where you worked.

*Work for a relative. Gainfully employed doesn’t have to mean that money changes hands. You can barter the work you do for a relative for meals, rides to interviews, borrowing interview clothes, etc.

*Offer your services online or in your neighborhood. Capitalize on assets and skills you have. For example, have a car? Provide some carpooling to take neighborhood kids to schools and appointments. Good at organizing? Offer your skills as a house cleaner or organizer.

*If you cannot find paid work, volunteer. Volunteer opportunities abound at schools, churches, food banks, YMCAs and YWCAs and other social agencies. You can still list volunteer experience on your resume. Better yet, find a volunteer opportunity for which you can barter. That is how I got my start in publishing. I edited book  transcripts in exchange for rides to and from classes.

The point is to show employers you have recent skills other than in job searching.