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Unemployment Sucks

unemploymentA few months ago I was at a friend’s mother’s funeral. Afterwards at the wake I sat across from a man who looked to be in his late 40s. Because my nature is talkative, I struck up a conversation with him and he began to tell me that he was unemployed, and had been for 12 years. Twelve years. Listening to him talk it occurred to me that his biggest reason for being unemployed for 12 years is he had not been flexible in any aspect of his employment. He was bitter about a job he was let go from. So I guess you could say his ego was keeping him from employment.

Now, regardless of who is right and wrong in a situation like that, you have to change something about what you’re doing in order to gain success. You have to change something that you’re doing in order to have a job opportunity present itself. He went on to tell me that the Internet has really screwed up a lot of his employment opportunity. I didn’t get it, so I asked what he meant. He said people are posting their resumes online and applying for jobs online.

Since I am in the video production business and video marketing is one of our activities, I asked him why that was screwing up his opportunity for employment. He said because it was a complete waste of time. I could tell this conversation was about to conclude because I was beginning to realize this was not somebody I saw eye to eye with. He was an electrical engineer, worked for one of the car companies (who, by the way, are doing pretty well today, and there’s no reason he should still be unemployed). So as a last ditch effort, I threw out “have you considered applying at either Lowe’s or Home Depot?”  At least it was something to get him out and in circulation again, learning how to interact with people – which was an ability I was beginning to seriously doubt he had, considering the way this conversation was headed. He replied that both Lowe’s and Home Depot require that applications be made online. As crazy as this sounds, it’s even crazier to think of an unemployed person creating a paper resume and expecting an employer to pick them from among dozens of other paper resumes they’ve received.

We’re in the video production business, and our candidates who apply for editor, motion graphic designer and audio engineer positions use the Internet and video to get my attention to be considered for an interview. We just hired a new video editor, Michael Brink. His application, along with two others, got my attention because of the video samples and content that came with his application and resume. After interviewing three people, Mike being one of them, we chose Mike because of his great attitude, personality and technical skill and ability. How could any of that have come across in a traditional paper resume? However, those qualities can be expressed in a video resume.

After experiencing the types of video demos that I receive with applications for employment, it occurred to me that this should be a product that is offered to our unemployment community, to be used as a way to stand out from the competition. Unemployment sucks! But the only reason it sucks is because there is a lack of understanding on the part of the unemployed on what to do to change their circumstances. Now, I’m not saying that all unemployed people think this way – this is a general observation, but the definition of insanity – if I haven’t already said this – is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. So in order to change your unemployed status to employed, consider investing in a video resume that can show your people skills, personality and potential to a qualified employer.

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