Don’t apply if you’re unemployed. What is this, a cruel joke?

The Room for Debate blog at the New York Times has a post asking if any job is better than no job. Naturally, opinions varied across the board: people need money so they can pay the bills, graduate school will improve your qualifications (though not necessarily your experience, which is emphasized now), everyone has to start somewhere, working hard in one job is the best way to work your way up.

All valid arguments, whether you agree with them or not. Here’s one point they left out: You may not be considered for that job if you’re unemployed. In an economy where many talented people are unemployed, finding talent these days is less expensive than ever. Why continue recycling the current workforce when there’s a whole workforce waiting to apply if not for that last line of the job description, some of whom could be the right person for the job? Retraining can be expensive, but for the right person in the right industry, it won’t matter, and they will have kept up anyway.

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