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Gaps in Your Resume

Updated on March 14, 2013

Many people have gaps in their resume, especially from 2008 to now. By some accounts, there are 12 million out of work and many, many have gaps in accounting for time between jobs. For many, it might only be 3-6 moths, but there are those, that for whatever reason, have not been able to secure work in well over a year or many years.

I encountered a woman who was in management with degree that searched for two years, she had gone through her savings, her retirement and oddly enough, ended up as a job recruiter who was trying to recruit me. She had to be retrained on the job for a salary 50% less to what see was use to. Her resume had a employment gap of two years and as she testified, many times employers are blinded by this and are unable to consider you. Such a long gap is a red flag that something MUST be wrong with the person, which was not the case. She told me that to fill the gaps see noted she had volunteered at various agencies to keep skills sharp, avoid getting depressed, took classes, and to be around people. But, that only goes so far with any prospective employer who was comparing you with someone with no such gap. She said sometimes you just need God's luck because employers do not consider where you may have volunteered as equal to a past job you lost a few months ago due to a layoff.

She got lucky after two years of searching and being rejected. But, is a person REALLY unemployable after being 1 to 2 or more years unemployed, even if you are equal or better in skills the job requires? Is the mindset of employers really that narrow and not empathetic? Is a person in this situation really a "red flag" to an employer and should they just no longer search?

There is a stigma attached to a long term unemployed person akin to more subtle kinds of discrimination, like, age, gender, even color. All the employer ever has to say is, "We did not think it was good fit for us and you, even though you had the skills". That is code for they did not like you, your look, age (too old, too young) or something more personal and something that had little to do with job functions.

If you have resume gaps, how do you address it?


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