IX. Thou Shalt Close the Gaps

Everyone has gaps. It’s a fact of life and part of being human.

So what kinds of gaps do you have in your work history and how do they show up on your resume?

Employment gaps? Experience gaps? Educational gaps?

You can’t hide them because you don’t want to lie or mislead in any way on your resume.

Here are some tips for closing those gaps with honesty and integrity:

-Leave off the months. When you get past the phone screening process you will be asked to complete an application form. That’s where you will include months. Leave them off of your resume.

-Be honest about why the gap is there. Some gaps are o.k., even expected. If you took a couple of years off to care for an elderly parent or raise children, say so in your resume or cover letter.

-Include and/or get more continuing education. There is absolutely no hiding the fact that you don’t have a degree, or perhaps have the wrong degree. The only thing any of us has to work with is our own history, so be sure to include important aspects of your education history. Sometimes work experience plus continuing education will equal the right degree in the mind of the hiring manager.

-Hand deliver your resume so you can verbally explain the gaps. The easiest way to do this is to conduct an informational interview with your potential employer followed up by emailing them your resume. People hire people they know and trust. Once they have met you face to face they will be much more apt to look past your gaps.

More Commandments:

I. Thou Shalt Focus On Accomplishments

II. Thou Shalt Use a Professional Summary Instead of an Objective Statement

III. Thou Shalt Think of Others First

IV. Thou Shalt Look Forward Rather Than Backward

V. Thou Shalt Have a Great Education Section

VI. Thou Shalt Prove It! (Quantify Whenever Possible)

VII. Thou Shalt NOT Mislead About Your Age

VIII. Thou Shalt Not Obsess Over the Cover Letter

X. Thou Shalt Narrow Your Focus

1 Comment

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1 Comment to IX. Thou Shalt Close the Gaps

  1. by Greg

    On July 31, 2012 at 11:37 pm

    Great stuff Dr. Sean, thanks for keeping the light on honesty and integrity. Two of the most-undervalued skills in our society.

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