One of the things I was most surprised by when I got into the jobs business over a decade ago was the prevalence and practice of age discrimination in hiring right here in the USA. Oh, sure... we're not like some overseas markets where job ads explicitly demand youth, or a particular gender, or beauty(!), in the applicant, but there it is...
Catch-22 also catch-22 (kach-twen'tē tōō', kech-twen'tē tōō') n. 1. a. A situation in which a desired outcome or solution is impossible to attain because of a set of inherently illogical rules or conditions.
It may be the biggest frustration among the many stresses of a prolonged job search while unemployed: the sinking sense that the longer you’re out of work, the harder it is to convince hiring managers to give you a chance.
And unfortunately, it’s more than a feeling. HR professionals readily admit they’re leery about candidates with lengthy, unexplained gaps on their employment records (although the current recession has reduced some of the traditional stigma attached to those stretches).
Don’t throw in the towel, though! The key to escaping the unemployment Catch-22 lies in explaining with power and conviction what you’ve done during your time away from work. In this package, experts talk about how you can turn this negative perception into a positive by demonstrating your initiative and professional focus even during a period between engagements.