5 ideas for eliminating the employment gaps on your
If there is a
gap in your employment you are immediately at a disadvantage when
applying for jobs. If you don't believe it, Google "employment gap" or
discrimination" and read the news. Some employers have said
they're unwilling to hire
unemployed workers because they believe that if a
worker has once been let go, that's a sign that he or she is probably not a
great hire. Others believe that if someone is out of work for an extended period
of time, their basic
work skills (taking orders, showing up to work on time,
etc.) will erode and make them less valuable to the company.
When considering how your resume or work history looks to a potential employer
remember that a
gap in your employment looks like a black eye on an otherwise
attractive face. Their first question may be why do you have the
gap? In most
cases though you are not around to explain in your own words what happened. In
that case employers may tend to answer their own question with the biases listed
above. It is important to legitimately eliminate the
employment gap all
together. You must have something productive listed on your resume for current
activity. We'll see five examples below on how to do that.
Hours are not important. When was the last time you saw any resume that noted
how many hours were worked at the job? It doesn't matter how many hours you
spend doing the current productive activity you will be involved in. If you are
working 1 hour every day answering the phones at your friend's business, your
resume would show that you currently hold an administrative assistant position.
Your resume wouldn't say "I spend 5 hours a week helping out my best friend
1. Temporary work agencies.
Temporary work agencies are staffed by professional job finders. They are
employers all day long looking for work and are some of the
most networked people in the business world. Their first priority is to know
where the jobs are. Their next priority is to match you up with one of those
jobs! The beauty of working with a temp agency is the flexibility. You can find
work for one day or for many months.
While the library most likely will not pay you they will probably have something
you can do to help out. Larger libraries host a wide variety of programs for all
ages and segments of the community. One idea in particular is to be a mentor or
coach. Those are always in need. What can you teach others to do? Are you a
teacher - teach someone to read. Are you a software developer - teach someone to
use a computer, software, or the web. Are you a nurse - teach someone to eat
right or exercise properly. The list can go on and on. Go to the library, ask
for the library director, tell her what your skills are, and ask to be matched
up with an appropriate program. Then update your resume to say "Community
Coach", "Mentor", or "Consultant".
3. Chamber of
Job fairs are great because it is a large room loaded with hiring managers all
in one spot. It makes networking and job hunting very easy. The same is true
with your local chamber of commerce. A chamber of commerce will generally host
many business and community functions each month. Their priority is networking -
providing forums for everyone to meet each other and potentially do business.
Where do you fit in? Approach the chamber staff, tell them what your skills are,
and ask to be matched up with businesses or events that need temporary help.
Many of the chamber's business members would be eager to have you help them
through short term projects they are working on. In fact the chamber itself may
be able to use your
skills. Make sure your resume reflects your current work
with the chamber.
4. A part-time
Taking part-time work while searching for full-time work may benefit you with
additional income (you can earn x amount of money while unemployed without
losing your unemployment benefits) and having a current job to list on your
resume. Remember you don't list how many hours you work on your resume; you list
the jobs you are holding or have held. An employer reviewing your application
may not know you are only working 15 hours a week, but will see that you are a
working, that someone else believes you are
Holding a part-time job while you search for full time work could also provide
you with new skills, new contacts, and new ideas in addition to building your
resume and your household income.
5. College or
Upgrading your education or professional skills is a perfectly legitimate and
productive use of your time. If you chose this route be sure to list it on your
resume as your current activity. Also write what an employer will gain from
hiring you once you graduate with your new or upgraded skill set. Employers love
new graduates. It means they don't have to invest as much in your training and
you've just been educated in the most current practices within the industry.
make good employment gap filler?
"I just needed time off from work."
"I needed to care for my (fill in the blank)."
"I've been fixing up my house."
"I saw every game during March Madness."
"I took my kids to Disneyworld."
Job seekers learn from daters.
Good to be
appearance & job offers.
you aren't called after an interview?