Is the Stench of Desperation Overpowering the Sweet Smell of Success?

May 4, 2012 § 1 Comment

As I have been reading the articles about unemployment, one theme emerges which is the fear that employers are holding long-term unemployment against potential candidates. Curious, I asked Lisa Dolce, our founder and one of our career coaches, whether this was true.

Lisa said that employers do look at that, but the real problem is desperation. Lisa said that potential employers want to know what an individual can do for them. When candidates are only communicating “I need a job” it is off putting and doesn’t help the hiring team understand how this particular person will help them meet their goals. “You’ve got to communicate your value!” Lisa said.

I asked her how underemployment is perceived by recruiters. Lisa said there was nothing wrong with taking a position just to get some cash flow for your household. When discussing it with potential employers, can you talk about what you learned from the experience that will be applicable to the current position? Working in a customer service position for a major company is an opportunity to learn how a large organization operates including their training program, distribution processes, and other techniques that have given them a competitive edge. Being able to talk about what you’ve learned shows potential employers your flexibility and that you can find value in any opportunity.

“Does volunteering help with closing the gap of long-term unemployment?” I asked. Lisa affirmed that its a great option for keeping your skills current and trying new things. Volunteering expands your network and can help put you in contact with people who can help with your job search. A great resource for finding awesome volunteer positions is Volunteer Center Serving Howard County!

Shameless plug: we’re looking for volunteers for both the Empowerment Center and the upcoming Women’s Empowerment Conference on October 26th. If you’re interested in using your marketing/public relations, event planning, or other skills drop us a note at info(at)!

What I learned chatting with Lisa is that no matter what, you have to communicate your value! At the end of the day, potential employers want to know what you can do for them. Being able to tell them how you can help them meet their goals shows that you’re committed and not just looking for a job,and that you’ll move on at the first opportunity.

What value do you bring to the table? Can you articulate it? Have you ever been a situation where you know your desperation turned off a potential employer?

Posted by:  Heather Comstock


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