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Career expert provides advice as number of unemployed remains historically high

Posted at 11:39 AM, Oct 16, 2020

Nationally, the number of people filing for new unemployment benefits is still historically high. It rose last week to 898,000.

This comes as the number of people experiencing long-term unemployment is growing too. The number of people out of work for more than 27 weeks increased by 781,000 in September. It's now at 2.4 million, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Labor.

Usually, it's harder to get a job the longer you are out of the workforce, but that may not be the case now.

“If you are in one of those situations, you should take comfort in the fact that there is a lot more understanding right now from hiring managers and it's OK to talk about the fact that you are a casualty of the pandemic,” said Blair Decembrele Heitmann, LinkedIn career expert.

Heitmann recommends if you're taking on a side hustle now to pay the bills until you can get a full-time job. Try to look for something you can market to a future employer, something that goes along with a long-term career goal you have.

“When it comes to explaining a career gap on your resume, really talk to the recruiter and showcase what you've done in that time to make sure that you're more marketable,” said Heitmann. “Whether it be taking a course or networking with your contacts, you want to really show you used the time wisely.”

Something else that may help you get noticed right now is adding the "open to work" feature to your LinkedIn profile.

LinkedIn has found 40% of people who include that message get more calls and emails from recruiters.