1) Companies are a lot more discriminating now about who they hire then they have ever been. If you've been out of the workforce for more then a year, hiring managers ask themselves why that might be. They question whether applicants who have been long term unemployed still have the skills and motivation necessary to be effective employees. In the high tech world, hardware and software engineering skills change almost daily. Dropping out of that environment for any period of time will prove detrimental to one's professional marketability.
2) Today's companies are looking for employees who possess highly specialized skillsets, or who are multi-faceted and can handle many responsibilities at one time. Productivity is not just a corporate buzz word anymore. It's EVERYTHING to an employer. A perfect example of this can be seen in the healthcare industry. Specially trained personnel who can operate highly specialized medical diagnostic devices are much sought after. Also, medical doctors who also have MBAs or law degrees are in great demand by HMOs for positions as executives and department heads. Someone with limited or inflexible skills are at a disadvantage in today's job marketplace.
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make if you are unemployed, is to be INACTIVE. Sure, you're checking the internet, and answering job posting online. You're also sending out a LOT of resumes, and maybe even getting a few interviews. But, is that taking up 8 to 10 hours of your day, EVERY day? Be honest now.... Probably not, right? In today's world, finding a job SHOULD be a full time job in and of itself. Time not spent actually beating the pavement should be spend keeping up on the latest information from within your field of expertise. Take some courses online. (many are free for the download) Attend live seminars, or participate in online forum discussions where you can stay informed about what's going on in your industry. You can also use these opportunities to network with others in your field, which can lead to employment prospects.
Bottom line? It's war out there, and you need a plan to survive in today's job market.
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