How can I account for 3 yrs of unemployment on my resume as I try to get back in the workforce?
Hi... I have been unemployed for 3 years now and was wondering whether I need to write something in my resume to explain the gap? I've only had 2 jobs since graduating from college in 2004. Prior to losing my job in 2008, I was working in a highly stressful job in the field of finance on Wall Street.
I have not been working for 3 years partly due to health reasons and partly because I'm afraid of searching for jobs because I don't know how to go about making a career change while explaining such a long gap in work history.
Luckily I have been able to survive on my savings thus far but I can't possibly keep delaying the job search any further. The longer I wait the harder and harder it seems that I'll get back in the work force.
When I got laid off in 2008, I thought I'll take a year off, but 1 year turned into 3 years as I kept telling myself I'll look for a job when I feel better, I had been dealing with depression and other personal issues.
Unfortunately I have lost all confidence in myself at this point but I really want to start searching for work and start sending my resume out. My problem is I don't know how to complete my resume when my work experience ends in 2008.
Do I need to write something to explain the gap? I have really not done much over the past 3 years and have slowly come out of depression to the point where I now feel motivated enough to look for jobs again.
How can I make my resume which currently only has 4 years of finance background and 3 years of
unemployment stand out in a positive light?
I no longer want to work in a finance/analytical type of role and want to start a completely new career. How can I get employers to give me a chance, given that I only have 4 years of finance experience and haven't been working since Jan 2008. So where do I begin?Answer:
Mike, sorry to hear you've had such a rough time at such a young age. Hope you are feeling better everyday. Here's the good news... your timing was perfect. Employment gaps these days are almost more the norm than the exception in many job seekers.
It's really not that unusual for people to be out of work for a year or two. Your gap is a bit longer, but still, I doubt it will really raise a lot of issues.
You're not under obligation to explain your mental health struggles. You can simply say that you quit your previous job for health reasons, but are now fully recovered and your health will not interfere with future jobs. The gap can be further explained as just that you have decided to switch careers as finance was not the right fit for you and you haven't yet been able to find the right job.
All this should be explained in the cover letter (briefly) and in any interviews, not on the resume.
Believe in yourself and think about what your strengths and talents ARE, not where you have failed or struggled in the past. Figure out what transferable skills you can bring from your past job into a new career, things like attention to detail, vision and planning, communication skills, ability to work independently and so forth... whatever might apply to your situation.
To your success... Kathi