Addressing the Out-of-Work Gap

As many know these days, maintaining a top resume can mean the difference between snagging an interview and ending up in the trash can.  However, what if you have been unemployed for a period of time and that is the first thing seen on your chronological resume?  There are a few ways of handling your unemployment situation which can help increase your chances of staying in the game and being a true competitor for the job.  During your unemployed period, it is not as important what you are not doing – meaning working – as it is important what you ARE doing and making it clear to the hiring manager.


Many hiring officials will be more understanding about out-of-work gaps during economic times like we are currently experiencing.  But, if you fail to address on your resume what you have been doing during your time off, you will likely be quickly discarded.  Therefore, it is very important to stay active during this time and try to focus not only on finding a new job, but also on other activities which will increase your marketability.  This means undertaking such activities as volunteer work (in your field, if possible), project work, taking classes or certification training.  Instead of empty space on your resume, start your chronological resume with a brief statement or two which explains how you have kept your skills current and your mind sharp.   Coupled with having great references ready to go and continued networking, your probability for success will increase.


Here are some resources and ideas that might be helpful in finding volunteer opportunities:


·         Many newspapers have classified ads for volunteers needed


·         Contact your nearest volunteer center (where available) and ask for a list of volunteer opportunities


·         Utilize Twitter to network and find out about volunteer needs – e.g. #volunteer


·         Check out these great links to other resources for volunteer and Non-profit information


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