Gaps in Employment
Have you had a hard time finding a job since your last move?
Did you take some time off work to be with your family?
Are you worried that absences in employment have made you less marketable to potential employers?
While gaps in employment are not ideal, they have become more commonplace as a result of the present economy and corresponding layoffs.
Most people are tempted to spend all of their energy trying to invent new ways to frame employment deficiencies on their resume. I like to ask those same people how far that approach is really getting them in landing a job. Instead, I encourage individuals to spend the time they would normally spend working on the resume, and redirect it to what you think is the strongest asset you have in the job search.
When trying to find employment you always want to lead with your strengths—whether you have had long-term unemployment or not. Extended absences from work simply make it that much more important to do so. But, in order to lead with your strengths, you have to determine what they are. For example:
Do you interview well?
Are you a great writer?
Do you love networking?
Are you skilled in social media?
Your first impression should always be your best one, so if your resume does little more than highlight your weaknesses, why would you lead with it?
Think back to the strengths you just identified and find ways to use them to your advantage. Say for example you are great at interviewing, networking or speaking. Start finding the companies you want to work for and determine some professional organizations individuals from that company might belong to. Visit their events and introduce yourself to those people—without offering your resume or talking about jobs. Perhaps ask if they’d have time for an informational interview. This allows you to lead with your best asset first and build relationships.
The great thing about being a Military Spouse is that we have tons of experience with adapting and overcoming. Now it’s time to apply those qualities to your job search!
I’m the owner of Military Spouse Portable Career Planning and the wife of an active duty soldier. I’m a Certified Career, Education and Adult Learning Coach, and love providing Military Spouses with proactive, strategic approaches to career fulfillment through the development of individualized Portable Career Plans. Check out Portable Career Planning for more information!
- Gaps in employment are more commonplace than you think.
- Determine your strengths and lead with them.
- Utilize your experience of adapting and overcoming as a Military Spouse - highlight this to employers.