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Author: Lavie Margolin, Career Coach

When evaluating resumes of job seekers for appropriateness for a job opening, I like to take a strengths based approach. I look at the job seekers qualifications and strengths of a person first as opposed to any potential question marks or negatives that someone may have. Many employers must take the opposite approach. They will look first at the question marks and try to find reasons not to call someone in for an interview. When you are receiving two hundred resumes for every job, you must come up with simple ways to eliminate people.  This is the framework from which we have to work, for better or worse, and I would like to discuss strategy for overcoming the largest question marks employers hang their hat on: A large (or perceived) large timeframe between your last job and the present time.

The resume is a marketing piece and not a work history. Only put accurate information on the resume but frame it in a way that is most appealing to the employer. For example, if your job ended February 2010, just list 2010 as the end date. If you are working in a position temporarily but have not put it on your resume, consider adding it and frame it in a way that adds value to your vocational aims. Include any additional training, education or volunteer work and/or internships you have done.  Show that you have used your time wisely.

Many job seekers will fill in gaps with ‘consulting work’. Only include consulting work on your resume if you have actually done consulting work. Clearly demonstrate what type of consulting work you have done, what type of companies and individuals you did it for and what you helped your clients to achieve through your assistance.


About the Author: Lavie Margolin is a New York-based Career Coach and the author of Lion Cub Job Search: Practical Job Search Assistance for Practical Job Seekers. To learn more, go to Lavie’s website, Lion Cub Job Search:www.Lioncubjobsearch.com