erinpryor1Erin Pryor, formerly with Salon.com, is now posting every Friday here at OCbizblog.  Erin is looking for a new gig and is kind enough to share her experiences with us.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the national unemployment rate was 7.2% in December 2008 and the California state unemployment rate was 8.4% in November 2008.

The economy sucks and the job market is brutal.

Tell me something I don’t already know, right?

Unfortunately, I too am currently part of that 8.2% (I’m sure it’s risen since November) and am experiencing the difficulties of a tough job market. Even with a background combining experience in journalism, marketing and sales I’m finding it hard to even get an interview.

The most common thing I hear is, “You have great experience, but we think you are overqualified.”

Recently, I had a local business owner tell me that he “wasn’t sure I would be content working in a local market since I had national experience and have lived in both NYC and LA.”

Really?

Bottom line…if I didn’t think I could do a job well and enjoy it at the same time then I wouldn’t apply.

It seems as though many small businesses are limiting themselves in terms of hiring. It’s an employers’ market and it’s baffling how some aren’t using it to their advantage.

Rather than being fearful of hiring an ‘overqualified’ candidate because they may only stay until the market turns, companies should take full advantage of these people and their experience.

Isn’t it better to get the blue chip recruit and take the franchise to the next level even though he may ask for a trade a couple of years down the road?