Turn Your Resume Into a Job
by Howard Rodriguez
When preparing your resume my do not become concerned with gaps in employment history, having had numerous jobs or leaving your previous job on bad terms there are still ways to create a good impression. The important thing to highlight when preparing a resume are the positive outcomes of what you first thought appeared to be negative. This is what is commonly called these days spin. Being able to put the best spin on your resume is a skill that should be used by all job seekers to present themselves in the best possible light.
Having gaps in your work history due to unemployment, parenting or even travel need not be a concern when setting out your resume. The first step smoothing out the gaps is to present the time spent in a position in years, rather than months. On your resume show the year you began the job and the year you left, rather than showing the year and the month. This can be used to fill gaps as well as allowing you to reduce the number of jobs you have had, if you have changed employment frequently in your career.
Sometimes, people leave the workforce for a number of years, for a wide variety of reasons. Raising children is a good example of why many women tend to have years of no work history on their resume. Extensive travel is another, freelance ventures, or taking courses and getting some education are other reasons you may have gaps in your employment experience. Don't be afraid to explain the reasons that you weren't employed, and in fact, each of these reasons taught you certain skills or brought you qualifications and maturity that will be a bonus for any company. Even if you took time off work to do absolutely nothing, try to find some sort of explanation for the period of time, such as getting back on your feet and restructuring your life.
One situation that may set the alarm bells off in the heads of your future employees, while reading your resume, is seeing that you have had a large number of jobs. Moving from company to company or trying out many different types of jobs is known as job hopping, and potential employers could get the impression you may not be around at their company long. As with gaps in your work history noting the time spent on the job in years rather than months will be of assistance. It is often useful in this situation to format your resume in years, then grouping all employers in that year together, then concentrating on the skills you acquired from all the jobs together.
Not meeting the job criteria for education, training or experience is often seen as a problem when formulating a resume. In these cases be truthful about the qualifications you actually hold. If you are lacking in more than one of the areas it is essential that you emphasize the level of skills you have for the position. Don't get overly concerned by limitations in these particular areas as the criteria are quiet often set as a way of measuring the level of skill the applicant should have attained. If you have the equivalent skills say so.
Never lie about a situation or gloss over a bad past, such as leaving a previous employer's company on bitter terms. You're not obligated to let a potential employer contact a past one, but should you have a tarnished work history, be prepared to answer questions as to why you left the job and under what circumstances. Remember one thing, if this is your situation: You don't have to tell your employer the full reasons for leaving, and you can spin the happenings around, bringing out the positive things you learned in your previous job. Be subtle with anything you put on your resume that you're trying to spin into something attractive, and be as honest as you can, all the while giving out the best information possible and holding back what might cost you the job.