Do hiring managers tend to view unemployed applicants less favorably than those who are currently employed, and if so, what can an unemployed applicant do to make a more favorable impression?

cay gliebe
A. While it is always more challenging to get a new position when you are unemployed, in this economy many employers realize that there are very skilled and capable employees being let go and that not having a job isn’t necessarily reflective of you personally. The important thing is to stay positive and never play the victim. - Cay Gliebe, VP, Sales and Marketing, Northgate Arinso

ronald miranda
A. During the process of screening resumes, those that show time lapses in employment appear to be viewed a little less favorable than those that don’t, especially if there has been an extended period of time between jobs. In order to change the negativity, an unemployed applicant must continue to show growth during this transitional period. Individuals can begin by having their resumes reflect involvement in professional development courses or field-related volunteer work to avoid lulls. – Ronald Miranda, HR Manager with Aldeasa A.J.V.

margaret hintz
A. Prior to the economic downturn, applicants with résumé gaps were not viewed as favorably as employed applicants. However, with today’s high unemployment rates, many talented candidates are available through no fault of their own. Successful applicants should explain what they have done in the interim, including volunteering in the community and enhancing their skill sets. – Margaret Hintz, team manager for Administaff in Atlanta

These human resources professionals are members of the Atlanta Chapter of the Society for Human Resource Management. If you have a question you would like to ask a panel of local experts, please e-mail it to Sharon Belhamel, vice president of public relations for SHRM-Atlanta at For more information about becoming a member of SHRM-Atlanta, please visit their membership section or call 404.442.7335.

12 comments Add your comment


July 8th, 2010
5:17 pm

And let’s be sure to remember our compassionate republican leaders at election time, y’know, the national party that voted NO for extending unemployment benefits for the slackers who choose not to look for jobs because the automatic $1200.00 a month are much better than actually earning a well-paid living.

"to no fault of my own"

June 9th, 2010
10:07 pm

Everyone should know by now that HR use is basically to aid supervisors and managers. They push the corporate agenda no matter what.