- JOB GAPS ON RESUME- SOLUTIONS?! -

  • Rocky_Brown

    Posts: 27

    Nov 16, 2011 11:32 AM GMT
    How do you explain extended periods of unemployment to prospective employers in a way that doesn't put them off?

    Have you done this before? How do you suggest others do this?

    I have not had a full time job since 2009, and have been receiving welfare since then, due to lack of motivation/depression from dropping out of college (although I fully intend to return and finish).

    I don't want to look like a potential liability to prospective employers.

    Some people say that a good way to overcome this is to say you've been travelling during the job gap.

    Others suggest creating a legally registered company name, contact telephone number/answer machine/email account and using that as a cover for previous past employment/reference (how exactly does I go about doing this? Don't judge).

    What are your thoughts, recommendations and experiences?
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    Nov 16, 2011 11:40 AM GMT
    Rocky_Brown saidHow do you explain extended periods of unemployment to prospective employers in a way that doesn't put them off?

    Have you done this before? How do you suggest others do this?

    I have not had a full time job since 2009, and have been receiving welfare since then, due to lack of motivation/depression from dropping out of college (although I fully intend to return and finish).

    I don't want to look like a potential liability to prospective employers.

    Some people say that a good way to overcome this is to say you've been travelling during the job gap.

    Others suggest creating a legally registered company name, contact telephone number/answer machine/email account and using that as a cover for previous past employment/reference (how exactly does I go about doing this? Don't judge).

    What are your thoughts, recommendations and experiences?


    Why would you say that you've been travelling when you haven't? I'm not experienced, but I think potential job interviewers are experienced enough to fish out half-truths in an interview. Personally I would just say that I have been finding my own interests to better understand myself. I'm sure this must have been true for you as well.

    I don't think it's the content of what you've been doing that matters. More of how they perceive you, and what you've made of the experience. Even coming out of depression can be packaged into a life-changing experience which can portray you as a now-highly-motivated worker who's itching to get up and going. Just be truthful and positive - exactly what they are looking for. Provided you have the skill set they require of course.
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    Nov 16, 2011 12:15 PM GMT
    Don't be deceitful or lie. Put down a real place of employment and lie about working there? I think that must be the biggest mistake. Say that you had a time where you had to deal with personal experiences. And if an interviewee asks you about those personal experiences, its up to your discretion and how you want to spin that into a positive selling point (more difficult i know :cryicon_smile.gif. Just don't lie though. Good luck!
  • Rocky_Brown

    Posts: 27

    Nov 16, 2011 12:19 PM GMT
    TheChrisGuy said

    Why would you say that you've been travelling when you haven't? I'm not experienced, but I think potential job interviewers are experienced enough to fish out half-truths in an interview. Personally I would just say that I have been finding my own interests to better understand myself. I'm sure this must have been true for you as well.

    I don't think it's the content of what you've been doing that matters. More of how they perceive you, and what you've made of the experience. Even coming out of depression can be packaged into a life-changing experience which can portray you as a now-highly-motivated worker who's itching to get up and going. Just be truthful and positive - exactly what they are looking for. Provided you have the skill set they require of course.


    Well, somebody in an employment agency I attend tentatively suggested it, although at the same time didn't condone outrageous lies. Just bending the truth.

    I certainly see what you mean regarding telling my employers about my history with depression. Although I am seeking help with it now, I'm cautious to tell this to prospective employers, as I have a feeling as soon as they read this on my cover letter, they will throw my resume in the trash and pick from the many other candidates who have no illnesses and may seem a safer option to invest in.

    I will take you said into consideration though. Worth a try.

    Have you had any experiences with this yourself, either as an employee/employer?


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    Nov 16, 2011 12:19 PM GMT
    explain it in your cover letter, I was unemployed because of a lay off, for 14 months. Yes, it does make it questionable but with the way the economy is right now...gaps are not that uncommon. If you are fortunate enough to get an interview, the gap can be further explained at that time. But consider adding it to the cover letter and maybe a blurb on the resume somewhere, but be honest.
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    Nov 16, 2011 12:22 PM GMT
    Self employed, cleaning peoples houses or something.
  • Rocky_Brown

    Posts: 27

    Nov 16, 2011 12:24 PM GMT

    playground saidexplain it in your cover letter, I was unemployed because of a lay off, for 14 months. Yes, it does make it questionable but with the way the economy is right now...gaps are not that uncommon. If you are fortunate enough to get an interview, the gap can be further explained at that time. But consider adding it to the cover letter and maybe a blurb on the resume somewhere, but be honest.



    Hmm. I will certainly try it out on a few applications, see what happens, I guess. Nothing to loose at this point lol

  • Rocky_Brown

    Posts: 27

    Nov 16, 2011 12:26 PM GMT
    S60turbo saidSelf employed, cleaning peoples houses or something.


    Hmm good idea.

    I did register as self-employed in 2009, as I was meant to start a contractor job, however, never did come to pass.

    Still, my national insurance should still read that I have a self-employed tax account.

    Good idea. =D

    However, what would I do for references? Fake emails/voicemail account? I'll do whatever it takes to get out of this jobless rut to be honest.
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    Nov 16, 2011 12:34 PM GMT
    I'm doing my internship with a not for profit agency that helps the fomerly incarcerated and their familes get back on their feet and successfully re-enter in to society. I've been writting resumes for people with backgrounds and have had pretty good success so far. I would suggest that in thoes gaps that you account for it through either volunteer work, caregiving, or at least some explination for that downtown. You mentioned that you dropped out of school and were going through a depression (which I can relate to and good luck to you returning back to school. I took 4 yrs off and am God-Willing going to finish December 10th! after startined up in Fall '02.) you could make mention that you had health issues and needed that time to recover. If its really hard still finding work, look in to getting Bonded. Employers like the WOTC credit and if you are bonded you can easily have them get that tax credit for their business. Im not all that familure with the bonding process but it's starting to catch on. Good luck to you and above all stay positive. It's a tough market. I'll keep you in my prayers.
  • Rocky_Brown

    Posts: 27

    Nov 16, 2011 12:40 PM GMT
    GVJoe90 saidDon't be deceitful or lie. Put down a real place of employment and lie about working there? I think that must be the biggest mistake. Say that you had a time where you had to deal with personal experiences. And if an interviewee asks you about those personal experiences, its up to your discretion and how you want to spin that into a positive selling point (more difficult i know :cryicon_smile.gif. Just don't lie though. Good luck!



    I get ya. Hmmm I wouldn't lie about working in a real place, just make up one of my own to cover my tracks lol ;p...But I know what you mean, thanks. =)
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    Nov 16, 2011 12:46 PM GMT
    Creating a fake company to put on your resume is fraud and these things get caught up one day or another. Be as honest as you can without putting them off. Accepting mistake and taking responsibility is a good thing. It might be harder to find a job that way but in the end you will have no worries.
  • Rocky_Brown

    Posts: 27

    Nov 16, 2011 12:48 PM GMT
    Ryan_Andrew saidI'm doing my internship with a not for profit agency that helps the fomerly incarcerated and their familes get back on their feet and successfully re-enter in to society. I've been writting resumes for people with backgrounds and have had pretty good success so far. I would suggest that in thoes gaps that you account for it through either volunteer work, caregiving, or at least some explination for that downtown. You mentioned that you dropped out of school and were going through a depression (which I can relate to and good luck to you returning back to school. I took 4 yrs off and am God-Willing going to finish December 10th! after startined up in Fall '02.) you could make mention that you had health issues and needed that time to recover. If its really hard still finding work, look in to getting Bonded. Employers like the WOTC credit and if you are bonded you can easily have them get that tax credit for their business. Im not all that familure with the bonding process but it's starting to catch on. Good luck to you and above all stay positive. It's a tough market. I'll keep you in my prayers.


    Thanks man, much appreciated.

    I have done some work experience in my chosen career field during this time period, a couple of weeks, nothing substantial enough to cover two years :s...

    I would gladly exaggerate the dates or say I did further volunteer work (which I haven't), but only if I could do so in a way that would not be exposed for the exaggeration it is through failed/revealing references and come back to bite me on the ass. Thoughts? lol

    What is this 'bonding' you are referring to? I've never heard of it.

    Thanks for the message, much appreciated! Good luck for for December 10th!!!
  • Rocky_Brown

    Posts: 27

    Nov 16, 2011 12:50 PM GMT
    asnextdoor saidCreating a fake company to put on your resume is fraud and these things get caught up one day or another. Be as honest as you can without putting them off. Accepting mistake and taking responsibility is a good thing. It might be harder to find a job that way but in the end you will have no worries.


    It's only fraud if it is ever revealed, lol, jk ;)

    I hope that works in practice as well as theory icon_smile.gif


    I appreciate all the input, thanks.
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    Nov 16, 2011 1:12 PM GMT
    This is the context I know under (again I work with people that have a criminal background so It most likely won't apply to you but i dunno) but still this will kind of explain it. I know they have that as well for electricians and plumbers that kind of stuff.

    http://howfelonscangetjobs.blogspot.com/2010/02/federal-bonding-program-can-help-felons.html

    What field were you looking to get in to if you don't mind me asking?
  • Rocky_Brown

    Posts: 27

    Nov 16, 2011 1:27 PM GMT
    Ryan_Andrew saidThis is the context I know under (again I work with people that have a criminal background so It most likely won't apply to you but i dunno) but still this will kind of explain it. I know they have that as well for electricians and plumbers that kind of stuff.

    http://howfelonscangetjobs.blogspot.com/2010/02/federal-bonding-program-can-help-felons.html

    What field were you looking to get in to if you don't mind me asking?


    I don't have a criminal background no, although this certainly looks like a positive scheme.

    I'm not sure if it's something offered in my country (i'll look into it further, so thanks for the heads up!), but I can certainly see how a scheme such as that would be great for job seekers and the economy alike.

    Legal field, btw.
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    Nov 16, 2011 1:43 PM GMT
    Rocky_Brown said
    TheChrisGuy said

    Why would you say that you've been travelling when you haven't? I'm not experienced, but I think potential job interviewers are experienced enough to fish out half-truths in an interview. Personally I would just say that I have been finding my own interests to better understand myself. I'm sure this must have been true for you as well.

    I don't think it's the content of what you've been doing that matters. More of how they perceive you, and what you've made of the experience. Even coming out of depression can be packaged into a life-changing experience which can portray you as a now-highly-motivated worker who's itching to get up and going. Just be truthful and positive - exactly what they are looking for. Provided you have the skill set they require of course.


    Well, somebody in an employment agency I attend tentatively suggested it, although at the same time didn't condone outrageous lies. Just bending the truth.

    I certainly see what you mean regarding telling my employers about my history with depression. Although I am seeking help with it now, I'm cautious to tell this to prospective employers, as I have a feeling as soon as they read this on my cover letter, they will throw my resume in the trash and pick from the many other candidates who have no illnesses and may seem a safer option to invest in.

    I will take you said into consideration though. Worth a try.

    Have you had any experiences with this yourself, either as an employee/employer?




    I am 18 (there goes my stamp of legitimacy). But still, I'm pretty sure the way you present yourself to persuade them may be effective in letting them see what you want them to see. Which is essentially your unique experiences other potential employees are unable to offer. Up to you to figure out what you want to sell about yourself though.

    Oh btw, the reason why i didn't find the bending of truth appealing is because it is always easy to let slip that you were doing something else when the employer thought you were working. Or they may ask you to elaborate on your past experiences during the interview. Then the stammering would raise suspicion.
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Nov 16, 2011 1:57 PM GMT
    I think you have been getting some good advice. I think that being honest is much better than trying to cover it up. Be honest with it.

    I remember when I finished law school, I was having issues with finding employment as a contract negotiator, the economy was also in the tank at the time. I was still teaching horsemanship (which I started when I was 14 years old) and I started studying for the Series 7 (needed for mutual fund trades, stock & bond trades, etc). It was as hard as the bar exam, but by the time I actually gained regular employment as a financial advisor, 18 months had passed... it was a busy 18 months! I never had to justify anything, but I did have about 50 students during that timeframe and lots of study.

    My point... even a part time job can be an important part of your resume.
    I'd encourage you to find, even part time employment... all helps.
  • Rocky_Brown

    Posts: 27

    Nov 16, 2011 2:25 PM GMT
    Thanks Hndsm and MMTM.

    I'll give honesty a shot, although will definitely take the tip above to not specify the illness necessarily, just say that is has been dealt with. Also, will apply for some part time jobs too, to get the ball rolling again until I finally get my desired job role.

    I hope I can portray myself as had being productive during the two year interim though. I did periodically study at home, my course material, although I just never went back for the exam (yet. I certainly plan on going back and finishing what I've started. For sure), and also did some sporadic cash in hand type work for 4/5 months (although I didn't declare this so there is no record of it. Grr).

    Well, I'm hoping for the best, preparing for the worst icon_smile.gif
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    Nov 16, 2011 2:42 PM GMT
    Remember that an employer does not even have to contact employers on your resume or application to see if you are telling the truth. Checking past employers often doesn't yield much information so prospective employers may look elsewhere. There is so much information out there that they might be able to find through a search into your background. Tax records, applications for credit, collecting unemployment- do they tell a different story than the job history on your resume?
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    Nov 16, 2011 3:19 PM GMT
    Tell then you were being treated for cancer.
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    Nov 16, 2011 3:21 PM GMT
    I have about 2.5 years of a gap in my resume... with 2 serving jobs mixed in, I was working a few jobs at a time. But I have been working for myself, and 2 different companies under-the-table..


    Uncle Sam doesn't know I've made a dollar in the last 2.5 years, aside from the restaurants, which were really just for spending money. T__T
  • Rocky_Brown

    Posts: 27

    Nov 16, 2011 3:22 PM GMT
    Iceblink saidRemember that an employer does not even have to contact employers on your resume or application to see if you are telling the truth. Checking past employers often doesn't yield much information so prospective employers may look elsewhere. There is so much information out there that they might be able to find through a search into your background. Tax records, applications for credit, collecting unemployment- do they tell a different story than the job history on your resume?


    Very true.

    I have been collecting unemployment since my last full time job, yes.

    However, I registered as self employed in 2009 (despite the self-employed work not actually happening, ultimately). I think the law is fine with a person being both self employed whilst collecting unemployment assuming a person's income is not higher than a certain amount that is necessary to be entitled to government assistance.

    So, something for me to think about.

    Thanks.
  • Rocky_Brown

    Posts: 27

    Nov 16, 2011 3:37 PM GMT
    GrowAPair saidTell then you were being treated for cancer.


    Duly noted... *files away for possible later use* .icon_cool.gif


    +
    @ ThePenIsMyTier: stack that paper, bro ;)
  • Latenight30

    Posts: 1525

    Nov 16, 2011 3:37 PM GMT
    you have to creatively build the resume. Do it so you can get to the interview, then face to face you can explain it or not.
    Could say you were traveling the world, took a break from work after some traumatic stuff in your life. They don't have to know it's personal stuff.
    I wouldn't say you spent 2 year in a refrigerator box or sleeping in a park. Say you went on an extended camping trip to see the grand canyon
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    Nov 16, 2011 3:38 PM GMT
    Rocky_Brown said
    @ ThePenIsMyTier: stack that paper, bro ;)


    I wish... I need a job horribly, and have for 3 months. There's no business for me right now.