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How do you recommend handling date gaps in a resume?

Even a bad job is a good job by todayís standards. But jobseekers are wise to take a lesson from this job market; donít leave one job unless you have another lined up.

Of course, you could have been laid off or fired, which creates an unexpected gap in employment history.

First, jobseekers donít need to appear perfect, because well, weíre not perfect! Hiring managers understand that job candidates will have date gaps, especially with the state of the current job market.

The next time youíre at a job-search event, or simply having a barbecue with your extended family, ask around at how many of those present had time in between jobs. Youíll be amazed at how few have flawless, gapless work histories.

Donít sweat (what really is) the small stuff.

Second, for the employment gap that just bugs Ďya, think about changing your resume around ó especially if the current layout draws attention to that gap. Generally, readers proceed to read top to bottom or from the back to the front (Iím one of these; donít ask me why I do it). People usually donít go to the middle and proceed to the back or maybe to the top.

A combination style resume might just be the answer to making the resume top heavy, somewhat overshadowing the employment gap. Going this direction with your resume can also highlight those on-target and transferable skills relevant to the reader.

Teena Rose, Executive Resume Writer & Career/Job-Search Strategist (467 Posts)

Need help with your resume or job-search efforts? If so, contact me @ (937) 325-2149 or via email at to discuss your resume and job-search goals now. You can also get a free copy of one of my books, Cover Letter Examples for Managers & Executives