Dealing with Gaps in Employment

Written by Scott Brown

This week's job searching tip deals with gaps in employment on your resume. If, by looking at your resume, an interviewer can see an obvious gap between recent jobs, their perception of what that gap means could hurt your chances of being considered for a job. This week's tip discusses strategies for dealing with these gaps.

QUESTION FROM A SUBSCRIBER: What isrepparttar best way to handle being away fromrepparttar 139116 job market for an extended period of time (over 2 years) both onrepparttar 139117 resume and in interviews? My absence was due to medical/psychological difficulties and I want to be honest, but discrete. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

-- K.M.

Dear K.M., If an employment gap is short or occurred several years ago, most employers and recruiters won't notice and you probably don't need to bring it up unless they do. However in your case, it sounds likerepparttar 139118 gap is noticeable. There are several ways you can deal withrepparttar 139119 situation.


A solution many resume writers would recommend is to use a functional resume instead of a chronological one. This can work if you have a complex job where you have achieved many things in various areas. For example, a programmer who has worked with several technologies could legitimately use a functional resume, dividing uprepparttar 139120 resume by technologies worked with instead of time periods. This can also work with other technical professions like engineers, attorneys, etc. Ifrepparttar 139121 work you do is rather straightforward and you work with a fairly limited range of skills, using a functional resume could make it seem like you're trying to hide your dates of employment.

If you do use a functional resume, many people looking at it will still want to know what kinds of companies you've worked for and whatrepparttar 139122 most recent employer's line of business was. You can deal with this by including a note above your list of experiences indicatingrepparttar 139123 most recent employer's name, location and line of business. In this same section you can list other employer names and lines of business you have worked in.


Another approach is to include an explanation ofrepparttar 139124 gap onrepparttar 139125 resume itself. This makes sense to do if using a functional resume instead of a chronological one would seem odd because your profession doesn't lend itself to such a resume format. It's also important to note that most people reading resumes preferrepparttar 139126 chronological format. If you have a legitimate story as to why you have a gap in your employment dates that most people could sympathize with and understand easily, just being forthright and listing it on your resume is fine.

Using an Entrepreneurial Mindset in your Career

Written by Scott Brown

People who come torepparttar United States from other countries see America asrepparttar 139115 Land of Opportunity. This isn't just a cliche -- if you talk to recent immigrants, they'll tell you this is how they really feel. This country wasn't founded by professional warriors, as were many other nations. It was founded by entrepreneurs. George Washington was a businessman who wanted fairer taxes and property rights. So this country has been structured fromrepparttar 139116 beginning to be friendly to business people. Our taxes are relatively low for a Western country, and our laws give peoplerepparttar 139117 freedom to set up any business they can think of here. While takingrepparttar 139118 risk of investing money and opening up a new business isn't for everyone, this country still has more opportunities to make a living doing a wider variety of things than any other place inrepparttar 139119 world.

It may be natural for immigrants to see America asrepparttar 139120 land of opportunity because they can compare it withrepparttar 139121 country they came from. But it's often harder for native-born Americans to seerepparttar 139122 abundance of opportunities here. As children, most Americans are able to go to school full-time and basically have all their essential needs taken care of at least until they are teenagers. In school, teachers tell children exactly what they need to do to get good grades. In college, students have a little more autonomy but in most places of higher education,repparttar 139123 students are essentially given a roadmap of how to get their degree - which classes they need to take, how many credits are needed, etc. So growing up with all this structure and direction, it is only natural that one's first instinct would not be to take initiative on their own inrepparttar 139124 workplace. Many people leave college for their first job and expectrepparttar 139125 employer to providerepparttar 139126 same structure and direction that they got from school growing up.

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