Being out of work for a long time can seriously put the brakes on a person's professional development. However, it doesn't mean they are unemployable by any means.
Of course, you may be concerned when you draw up your CV about how you will explain any gaps in your employment history when you apply for a job. But if you deal it with properly, there is no reason why a prospective employer should be deterred from taking you on.
According to Peter Panayotou, senior consultant at The Write Stuff, jobseekers are best off being upfront and honest about their circumstances, rather than trying not to address the gaps at all.
This, he said, is because recruiters may become suspicious if these spells of unemployment are not explained, particularly if they are quite lengthy. Indeed, he suggested that some might start thinking the candidate is holding back some information.
Mr Panayotou commented: "There are ways of wording it so that it doesn't look quite so bad.
"For instance, I always deal with long-term periods of being out of work as a 'career break', which sounds a little bit more positive than just 'unemployed'."
Mr Panayotou also said this suggests a person has been actively trying to find employment while they have been out of work.
Of course, unemployment and job security are widespread concerns at the moment as Britain struggles to find its way out of a double-dip recession. Plenty of people across the country have been made redundant as a result of the economic crisis, so lots of applicants will probably have to explain their current lack of a job on their CV.
Businesses are painfully aware of the difficult financial environment in the UK, so it's not true to believe they will automatically turn their nose up at a candidate who isn't already in a job.
Recruiters are people too and know all about the human cost of the recession, so jobseekers who have been out of work for a while should simply explain their circumstances honestly rather than try to cover things up.