This story is probably not unique to me as there are many others that experience time away from the workforce. From all the information I've digested, it seems an employment gap can be presented in different ways on a resume but realistically, what companies want to hire someone that has a significant employment gap? I know, I'm sure there are some. But what are your thoughts or experiences regarding employment gaps for candidates? Are you more interested in what they did after the gap, during, etc?
I appreciate all your honest and thoughtful feedback!
Hi Shana, Thank you for your service and so glad you reached out for help because I'm sure it's a daunting experience. Traditional resumes used to be a timeline with what you did. But, resumes have transformed to allow a person to reflect who they are, what they like to do, and demonstrating what they are good at using their skills and accomplishments. So your life experiences and how you've worked through and hopefully overcome challenges have afforded you ways of tackling problems, matured your thinking, and made you a wonderful you. Find the positive words that reflect you - you start using them towards the end of your request ;-D Let that picture shine through. Good luck and go for it!
First of all, thank you for representing and serving our great nation.
Secondly, you are very open and honest about your journey and life is a journey. There are many hills and valleys and you certainly have experienced them.
I would also agree that it is not necessary to have a gap in your resume timeline. People take time off to help family members, or have medical issues. etc.
I like the approach of re-structuring your resume, identifying your strengths that can relate to any job.
However, be specific enough with what job or career you are going after. Think of the person reading your resume. "Why do I want to talk with Shana? What qualities does she have that can be an asset to my department/company? Do research on the type of companies you want to work for?
The best of luck to you. Donna
Shana, I think that Deirdre's suggestion about reorganizing your resume is a great one. And you should be proud of yourself for being able to rise above the difficulties you have had with PTSD. Do not assume you have been turned down due to the gaps and lack of skills. It is acceptable to ask why you were turned down so you can improve either your resume or your experience/skills. Focus on positive aspects of your journey in your resume and be able to explain how you were able to overcome the difficulties you have had in your life. Good luck!
Shana: Thank you for your service and congratulations on coming to the other side of a difficult time. You have admirable perseverance and you have many skills that employers value. As a first step, think about organizing your resume by skills and competency including your certifications vs. a timeline as that way your gaps won't be as noticeable and the key words and skills you include will help employers identify if you are a good fit. The format does not have to be chronological and this might work best in your situation. Best of luck - I am rooting for you!
Hi Karen, I appreciate it! I will work on reflecting the 'wonderful me' that I am through my resume. I am more mature, more resilient, more agile and always learning more. Thank you for your kind words.
You all keep the advice flowing. It's super duper helpful for myself and those I go on to connect with.
Thank you Donna. I like the advice from you all about restructuring. What I sincerely appreciate are the guiding questions you presented that I should consider. I'm super excited to apply this though methodology to crafting my 'story'.
This event has really been more than I expected.
Thank you Deirdre for your feedback! I will follow that advice about restructuring. Its almost an art, wouldn't you say? :) I've learned so much from you all today. So exciting!
And thank you Donna for your kind and helpful words. I've found information on how to follow-up from a rejection letter and will use a template to inquire on why so I can better position myself for the next opportunity.
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