Long-term joblessness can be one of the worst things a person has to go through, but job seekers have to brush aside the pessimism and take action.
Economy reporter Allison Linn has covered the labor market throughout the tough economic times of nation has faced in recent years and Tuesday wrote about how the long-term unemployed were losing benefits. She was on hand Wednesday to offer some words of encouragement and some reality checks for readers who tuned into our live web chat looking for advice.
One reader was down in the dumps about overall job prospects and asked:
How do you stay encouraged when you've been unemployed or underemployed for a long time, and what's the best response to prospective employers who ask, "What have you been doing during your period of unemployment?"
To that, Linn advised:
That is such a good question and something that many long-term unemployed people struggle with. The first thing I would say is to expect that any employer will ask about your resume gap, so come up with a good answer. If you've done any volunteer work in your field, gone to school or really had anything happen that may seem relevant or make you look eager and hard-working, that will help.
And, she added, “Don't dawdle on that answer, though. Address the elephant in the room and move the conversation toward what you can offer to the employer.”
Linn, who you can follow on Twitter, took on topics ranging from updating your job skills to work-at-home scams.
You can view the entire Q&A with Linn here: