Many employers automatically dismiss candidates currently out of work, because being unemployed comes with a certain stigma. While this can be a red flag, it is by no means an indication the person wouldn’t be an outstanding employee.

When sorting through resumes for an opening at your company, don’t send those of unemployed candidates to the reject pile without giving them the consideration they deserve. People step back from the workforce for a variety of reasons, so steering clear of all professionals in this category could cause you to miss out on the best worker you’ll ever have.

4 Reasons to Give an Unemployed Candidate a Second Look

They’re Honest

Unemployed job seekers know they’ll be judged for being unemployed, but those worth your consideration won’t try to hide it. They’ll address the issue head-on, because attempting to cover it up is misleading, and they’re not trying to pull the wool over your eyes.

A candidate who is honest even when it can be detrimental to their job search is someone you can trust. Give them a chance to explain why they don’t currently have a job, because it might not be what you think.

Their Explanation Makes Sense

It’s unfair to categorize everyone not currently working as lazy or difficult, because it’s just not accurate. Many hardworking people are laid off and others voluntarily step away from the workforce to care for family members, go back to school or combat health issues.

Allow the person to explain why they’re out of the workforce before making judgments. If they have legitimate reasons to support their unemployed status, cut them a break.

They’re Truly Excited About the Opportunity

If you scratch the surface, you can tell the difference between a candidate who wants to get back into the workforce and one whose heart isn’t in it. Anyone who has clearly researched your company, prepared for the interview and seems genuinely enthusiastic about the opportunity is probably in it for the right reasons.

Even if they have an impressive resume, steer clear of candidates who don’t know much about the company or the job and appear indifferent about returning to work.

You Can Verify Their Story

As a trusting person, you want to believe every unemployed job seeker will tell you the truth about why they’re out of work, but you can never be too careful. Conduct a thorough background check — including contacting references — to make sure their story checks out.

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