Resume Gap? Think Outside the Box
Since unemployment seems to be the new black, recruiters are taking a different stance on gaps in the resumes they review. I used to do it 24/7: see a six-month gap of employment here, a three-month gap over there. Immediately, questions. Was this person let go due to performance issues? Slacker perhaps? Or merely a case of bad timing and luck: last one in, first one out? Now, given the state of the economy, it is deemed understandable, no questions asked.
As I reviewed a friend’s resume last week, I realized it’s time to let her unemployment time shine. Since the interviewer will barely touch on the fact there’s no paycheck at the moment, it’s a great time to fill some silence with the productive things she’s been doing with her time. She’s taking accounting classes, studying for the CPA exam and is volunteering extensively during her transition time. Why not highlight that on the resume?
I used to think of unemployment as the ability to sleep ’til noon, workout during Oprah, and hey, of course look for a job.
But the en vogue thing seems to be getting out of the zone, thinking outside the box (um, cubicle?) and putting yourself in a position to market your skills for both your past work experiences and new ones.
While it seems opportunities are slowly opening up, the key is patience. And being productive with the gift of time.