consulting jobs

How do you handle employment gaps on your resume? Related: Gaping Gap? How To Plug Holes In Your Work History At some time in our careers, we will all have a gap in our employment history—maybe a few weeks or months, maybe a few years. A gap can occur because of a layoff, a family emergency, a health issue, a desire to further education, and many other excellent reasons. So, how do you approach an employment gap? First, it is not necessary to give the starting and ending months for a job. If you held one job from January 2003 to April 2010 and held the next from June 2010 to the present, simply omit the months from your resume. List only the years (2003-2010, 2010-present). In a long career, a gap of a month or two is of no interest to recruiters. Second, if you left the workforce to further your education, those years should be covered under the “Education” section of your resume; or you can add a single line in the employment section to indicate that you spent the gap pursuing a degree. Third, if you worked as a volunteer or consultant during the gap, by all means include that information. Volunteer and consulting work is work. Finally, you may want to explain a gap in your cover letter or e-mail. The explanation should be very brief, no more than one sentence. Recruiters do not need details about your family, health, or other issues. If asked about the gap during a job interview, use the same brief explanation. You want to convey that the situation is over and you are focused on rejoining the workforce. This post was originally published at an earlier date.

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How do you address consulting or self-employed jobs on your resume? These days, many people work for at least part of their careers in contract, self-employed, or consultant jobs. But could these jobs hurt your resume? Though each job may be short in duration and there may be many of them, they don’t represent “job hopping” in the traditional sense. Consultant, self-employment, and contract jobs are supposed to be short-term and are supposed to involve many different clients. However, if you list each employer separately and your work for each only lasts a month or two, your resume will give the impression you do jump from job to job. You do not want that to happen. Instead, group all of your contract or consulting clients under a single category. For example, Contract Positions or Consulting. Each employer then becomes a separate bullet point under that category. Another approach, particularly if you are self-employed, is to provide an overall company name for yourself; a freelance web designer might call himself “ABC Web Design.” Your company is treated like any other company on the resume and your position is (for example) founder and president.

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