Urban planning community

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Employment application advice

  1. #1
    Member
    Registered
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Sanford, nc
    Posts
    2

    Employment application advice

    I have worked for over 30 years and have never been on lay off. Well for 7 months I was unemployment and I am now back to work. I am applying for jobs back in my career path and I have a question about employment applications.

    How do you show 7 months of unemployment on a job application?

    I worked my sideline business during that time and did some volunteer work but that was under the table work.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 1998
    Location
    Greensburg, Kansas
    Posts
    2,937
    In your cover letter, pretty much as in your post. A period of unemployment does not hurt your chances these days.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian MazerRackham's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Near Saturn
    Posts
    66
    I agree with Mike, but will add that many applications ask you to explain any gaps in your employment history. Just be honest and explain the situation. If you're in a planning related field, no hiring manager would be surprised to see that you were unemployed at some point in the last two years.
    "The devil bought the key to Branson. Drives a backhoe and wears a gold chain." --- Jay Farrar from the song "Barstow"

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Tobinn's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Clearwater, FL
    Posts
    260
    Quote Originally posted by mowfixer View post
    I have worked for over 30 years and have never been on lay off. Well for 7 months I was unemployment and I am now back to work. I am applying for jobs back in my career path and I have a question about employment applications.

    How do you show 7 months of unemployment on a job application?

    I worked my sideline business during that time and did some volunteer work but that was under the table work.
    Doesn't sound like you were just sitting around doing nothing to me - working a side job and volunteering?!? Unemployed - maybe; inactive - heck no. I say add it to your resume.
    At times like this, you have to ask yourself, "WWJDD?"
    (What Would Jimmy Durante Do?)

  5. #5
    Member
    Registered
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Sanford, nc
    Posts
    2
    Quote Originally posted by MazerRackham View post
    I agree with Mike, but will add that many applications ask you to explain any gaps in your employment history. Just be honest and explain the situation. If you're in a planning related field, no hiring manager would be surprised to see that you were unemployed at some point in the last two years.
    On the application do you list unemployed as a separate item or do you put down your real work history and just leave a gap in dates?

  6. #6
    Cyburbian illinoisplanner's avatar
    Registered
    May 2005
    Location
    The Fox Valley
    Posts
    4,621
    Blog entries
    1
    If I were you, I would put down your volunteer or sidejob experience (whichever is more relevant) as an item in your job history, instead of just "unemployed". But if your volunteer/sidejob projects were not relevant to planning, I wouldn't include them.

    I'm a recent graduate, so I always list volunteer activities in the job history/experience section.

    But for someone with 30 years experience, being unemployed for 7 months shouldn't be that big of a deal. So, if there's only so many lines on the application to list all your jobs, I wouldn't necessarily waste a "job history" line on your 7-month unemployment. Make sure you include as much planning experience as possible, regardless of the chronology. You can always explain the gap in your cover letter.

    I, too, have been unemployed for the past 7 months (although, 4 of those, I was in college and doing volunteer activities) and I don't even make mention of the gap.
    "Life's a journey, not a destination"
    -Steven Tyler

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 2007
    Location
    America's Happiest City
    Posts
    4,836
    Quote Originally posted by illinoisplanner View post
    You can always explain the gap in your cover letter.
    I wouldn't go there. Lately there has been some discussion in the media regarding layoffs, unemployment and folks going after a job. This is a tough market. You want your cover letter to shine and coming out and saying you are "unemployed" may have a reviewer asking "questions" regarding how/why you were not emplyed. A cover letter should stick to why you are an excellent candidate to be interviewed and hired for the job. If the question comes up (and it will) save it for the actual interview.

    List your work history. Give the reasons why you left each job. Avoid red flags like "medical reasons" or "personal reasons" etc.

    If you volunteered during your unemployment history, list it and somehow connect it to the job description.

    As much as some of my fellow cyburbians say "unemployment" won't ding your chances, i firmly believe it does in some way, shape or form. You can overcome it of course as many here on this site have shown. The stigma isn't as bad, but when you have two candidates, identical and perfect for the position, and one was "unemployed" and the other "fully employed" with all things being equal, i think the nod typically goes to the employed fellow, by simple bias. Good luck.
    Men do dumb $hit... it is what they do to correct the problem that counts.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Replies: 20
    Last post: 05 May 2010, 5:02 PM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last post: 30 Mar 2010, 12:05 AM
  3. Employment application question
    Career Development and Advice
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 29 Mar 2010, 10:50 PM
  4. Replies: 1
    Last post: 27 Dec 2009, 4:09 PM
  5. Replies: 10
    Last post: 10 Jul 2005, 12:00 PM