A gap on a resume is a difficult but unavoidable part of being unemployed. Yet, you are in control of just how wide that gap gets. How so? I urge job seekers to try and find meaningful work that helps bridge the gap between permanent positions.
Volunteering and doing board work are positive ways to stay sharp, active and involved and are worlds apart from doing nothing. For example, getting more involved in your children’s school is one of many potential volunteer activities available while conducting a career search.
Consider taking classes. Courses will keep you sharp and help you acquire new skills. Also, you position yourself as a positive, flexible candidate on the job market.
Temporary and Contract Work
Another way to stay competitive is to consider a temporary or contract position. These positions may pay you a little less than what you’d like and pull you away from what you have always done, but they are better than not working at all. The benefits you’ll get – such as staying in work mode, keeping your skills sharp, and maintaining a competitive advantage, are well worth it.
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A gap in your resume can be a real challenge. Tackle the challenge head on by taking advantage of opportunities to do meaningful work outside of your preferred permanent position. And be sure to put it on your resume or in your cover letter; the hiring managers will never know about your involvement unless you tell them. Without that, how are you going to answer the question, “so what have you been doing since you were laid off?”
Stuart Coleman is a Partner & General Manager of Winter Wyman’s Boston Accounting & Finance Contract Jobs division. Stuart blogs to provide strategic job search advice for candidates as they make their next career move. To learn more about Stuart and the contract finance and accounting jobs he is working on visit www.winterwyman.com. Winter Wyman is one of the largest and most recognized staffing firms in the Northeast, currently serving clients in the New England and metropolitan New York job markets.
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