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August 03, 2021

Don't bother applying for a job unless you've got one: study

As the recession wanes but joblessness stays high, out-of-work Canadians have good reason to feel ostracized.

4443634-4443634-help-wanted After all, at a time when 7.4 per cent of Canucks remain unemployed, any job that reaches the market is a prize. In some global sectors, there is something like 83 applicants for each new opening.

But while at least those are the breaks – with so many out of work, there’s bound to be a flood of hopeful employees rushing to any opening – what if a level of unfortunate discrimination was facing job seekers?

What if you were only considered for a job listing if you were … already employed?

According to the New York Times, that’s the reality today facing many unemployed, who are not considered for many listings on account of their being out of work.

It’s the perfect irony, when you think about it, but of a recent review of job vacancy postings on sites like Monster.com, CareerBuilder and Craigslist, the NYT found hundreds of listings that “said employers would consider (or at least ‘strongly prefer’) only people currently employed or just recently laid off.”

*Bing: Find job postings in your town

Many of the considered listings contained phrases detailing desired applicants as “must be currently employed” or “are currently employed or recently employed.”

“I feel like I am being shunned by our entire society,” a 45-year-old unemployed IT operations analyst told the newspaper, after a recruiter admitted she would be a “hard sell” to prospective employers because she’d been out of work for six months.

Of course, there are reasons employers would choose to discriminate against out-of-work applicants. An IT operations analyst, for instance, might have fallen well behind developments in her dynamic industry, and would require more training to catch up than another, currently employed prospect.

Still, it’s a damning message suggested on many employment boards: only apply for a job if you’ve already got one.

By Jason Buckland, MSN Money



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Gordon PowersGordon Powers

A long-time fund company executive, Gordon Powers now heads up the Affinity Group, a financial services consulting firm. Gordon was a personal finance columnist for the Globe & Mail for many years, has taught retirement planning...

Jason BucklandJason Buckland

The modern-day MC Hammer of money, Jason can often be seen spending cash that isn’t his with the efficiency of a Wilt Chamberlain first date. After cutting his teeth as a reporter for the Toronto Sun, he joined the MSN Money team with...