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How should you explain an unemployment gap in your resume?

Unfortunately and unbeleiveably my boyfriend has been searching for a job since he graduated from college in December of 2004. In May, he was hired at a company, only to be layed off at his 90 day review along with 6 other people. So my questions are 1. Should he put the one job he was layed off from on his resume at all? He does not want to and is not planning on it. I'm just wondering if that is okay. 2. He read that when an employer sees a gap in a resume they automatically dismiss the resume without even asking for an explaination, presumably because they figure the person is hiding something or was fired. So the gap should be explained in a cover letter. Is that true? Should it be brought up in the cover letter? Should he say he was unemployed for that period of time? All help and ideas welcome. Thanks!!! In response to some of your answers He has tried to get a job everywhere! Literally. He is not lazy and he does want to work. He has health insurance through disability for a problem in his leg and his back - although you wouldn't notice it. If he works a certain number of hours he loses his health insurance, which he has to have for his heart condition. Therefore the job must be full time with benefits. He's tried fast food, drug stores, etc. - they took one look at the application, saw his degrees, and politely told him he's overqualified. He's thought of taking his degrees off his resume! The jobs (in his field) his education qualifies him for require a minimum of 3-5 years experience, some require over 10 years. He has tried going out of his field. No one realizes how hard this man has been tring to get a job. He finally got what he thought was his dream job, just to be layed off 3 months later. He never received a letter or anything, they told him in person.

Asked By: Ann - 8/16/2006
Best Answer - Chosen by Asker
Number two is not true, as there are plenty of good legitimate reasons for the gap. (educaiton, pregnancy, self employment, travel etc.) So, no employer will just throw out a resume for no good reason. They are trying to find the talent to fill a position. Why waste a talent because of a silly, non-productive... More
Answered By: Vince M - 8/16/2006
Additional Answers (49)
wink, tap your nose and say "I can't really talk about that, it's all very hush hush, you know."
Answered By: eternity - 8/16/2006
 
nope just dont mention any reasons why just state what dates he worked.
Answered By: cats4ever2k1 - 8/16/2006
 
say you were taking care of a dieing relative
Answered By: chris j - 8/16/2006
 
Being layed off is not the same as being fired. So, I wouldn't suggest taking that company off of his resume as he wasn't let go because of his performance but company down-sizing.
Answered By: dragonflyllg - 8/16/2006
 
dont have a gap... most employers dont check anyway if you sell yourself in the interview.
Answered By: va-dude - 8/16/2006
 
He should explain that he was laid off, if he doesn't its just gonna come up in the interview. Can't hide from the truth. :)
Answered By: The Saint - 8/16/2006
 
Show ALL gaps in employment. You don't omit anything...an explanation should be given at the interview. (And if you don't think employers check on this stuff, you're sadly mistaken.)
Answered By: anti_cryst666 - 8/16/2006
 
I think that the lay off is acceptable to put in his resume. I put my lay-off from Chase Manhattan on my resume, and I gained employment since then. Being layed off is something that any business owner can respect.
Answered By: jjallen805 - 8/16/2006
 
Yes , I would not keep it off. It could come back to him. Put it on and be honest.
Answered By: johnnygl02 - 8/16/2006
 
yes tell him to put the one job.
Answered By: Chikky D - 8/16/2006
 
Put the job down on the resume and be ready to answer why it shows a short period of emplyment at an interview. It is always wise to go with truth and see if a perspective employer cares to ask about it or not...at least your times are covered.
Answered By: Kay - 8/16/2006
 
Cover letter explanations seem like excuses to me. If and when he gets an interview, be honest about the job search and the lay off without sounding like sour grapes. Put the short job on the resume. If he leaves it off and then explains later that he really was employed during that time, it will look like he's... More
Answered By: midlandsharon - 8/16/2006
 
At the very end of his resume, he should put... More
Answered By: Nani - 8/16/2006
 
It's always good to explain anything in advance that might make a prospective client or employer nervous. Your boyfriend is trying to sell his abilities on the job market and has to do some reasonable selling. Therefore, he needs to try to foresee possible objections or fears an employer might have and deal with them... More
Answered By: Quietwalker - 8/16/2006
 
Be honest, just be prepared to tell the truth in the interview, otherwise they will wonder what you were doing for that period and ask you anyway. Dont put the gap on the cover letter, dont say he was unemployed if he wasnt. I would put it down and politely explain it was a layoff, they cant fault you for that, its a... More
Answered By: ginny c - 8/16/2006
 
Don't mention the gap in the cover letter. THe employer may not pick up on it in the resume. If it comes up in an interview then he should be honest and say, The last job I had was very short lived because I was laid off, hence the reason I am looking for employment. I didn't include it on my resume because I worked... More
Answered By: Alabama - 8/16/2006
 
What did he do during his time off? Did he do house work or yard work? Did he do odd and end jobs? Take up a hobby? Just a bump on a log... More
Answered By: jaz - 8/16/2006
 
I would not - don't mention any employment gap unless they ask about it - then say he was taking personal time to evaluate his profession and the job market!@
Answered By: nswblue - 8/16/2006
 
You've got to be honest in how you deal with potential employers, especially since any of this can come up in a background check... and the least bit of deception detected by the hiring company will put his chances of getting hired at close to zero... More
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Answered By: Andy G - 8/16/2006
 
Best advise, have him add that job in his resume... he was layed off but walked out with some experience.! he should describe all his duties/responsabilities on his resume. IF HE gets an interview and is asked Why did you leave your previous job? THEN** he can say "due to the company's circumstances i was in a... More
Answered By: CALI GIRL - 8/16/2006
 
He needs to put that he worked for that company for the full time that he worked there and for the time that he was laid off. He was still employed there during this time, so he should have it as the full time that he was there + laid off. Just because he's laid off doesn't mean that he was fired or unemployed. It... More
Answered By: sundragonjess - 8/16/2006
 
I would put the last job in the resume. It shows that he has recently been able to hold a job for a while. The gap is a giant, and it doesn't seem that he has a decent excuse for it. If he isn't morally against it, he could lie and say that he needed time for something. Maybe he was taking care of his dieing... More
Answered By: Ninja who? Ninja what? - 8/16/2006
 
You can always say "personal reasons." That will end it there without any further prying. Good luck!
Answered By: Andi - 8/16/2006
 
As an employer who has reviewed many many resumes, all of which start to look alike after a while, I do look for what really jumps out at me. In some cases, it is an employment gap, but in other cases, it is poor grammar or great "soft" skills. In the case of employment gaps, it does come across as a big question... More
Answered By: ch23dc - 8/16/2006
 
Well, after raising my first born for 5 years I tried to re-enter the workforce. Many employers demanded references from my high school jobs...from 7-8 years beforehand. I tried to explain that I had been a SAHM for that time and they could not ask for references from more than 2 years prior. Time and time again I was... More
Answered By: non_moritati - 8/16/2006
 
show the gap. "layed off" can be interpret as the position is no longer available. if explanation needed. don't hide or make up story. the gap, like any one else, time needed to find suited work place. there is nothing wrong with that.
Answered By: harmony - 8/16/2006
 
May through the Blessings of God, your boyfriend finds a kind and considerate employer. God bless you all.
Answered By: nizam h - 8/16/2006
 
The first thing NOT to do is lie on a resume or omit something. The dude that said to "just say you were taking care of a sick relative" is just stupid. And putting down alot of information is better than leaving it out, since it shows experience. I mean, if he was laid off because he stole something or got in a... More
Answered By: Anthony G - 8/16/2006
 
answer to ur 1st question is no, coz for refferance ur "new employer" might call that person and ur former employer who fired u may giv a bad recomendation....so don't list it... More
Answered By: tasneem - 8/16/2006
 
Sorry i dont know!! But good luck. I might need an answer to this as well
Answered By: semi-goth - 8/16/2006
 
First, I think that when a company see's he had been hired only for 60 days it'll raise red flags. So think about that. He could always write that he was working for himself, research, traveled....etc... Good luck
Answered By: WICCA - 8/16/2006
 
Honesty is the best policy. Before you even shake hands, laugh hysterically, and say don't worry about that blank space on my resume'. The doctor says I am fine now, [dramatic pause] as long as I am on my medication!
Answered By: motherpeanutbutterbutinsky - 8/16/2006
 
Just tell em like it is, If they decline you, then you need to be working underneath more conscience people anyway!!
Answered By: The King - 8/16/2006
 
my professor at the university said that he was in a jail and he put on his resume,"( he was taking time off and travel around the world"). ha so funny but it is true, just say something similar like that
Answered By: bahar - 8/16/2006
 
be honest let them know, but tell them you were exploring new avenues in order to better yourself and any company you will be working for in the future till you find the right job
Answered By: wil_t52 - 8/16/2006
 
stress on your strengths even if you have work gaps, tell them that the experience u have with the previous work help you strengthen your abilities and enhanced you capabilities. always cover your weaknesses with constructive measurement. always highlight your achievement on your cover letter. but remember to be... More
Answered By: yfort - 8/16/2006
 
Not only would I put them down as previous employment, list them as a reference. Most companies can only verify employment and if the person is eligible for rehire. If he was laid off, then he is eligible. That shows he wasn't fired and that he left on good terms... More
Answered By: Sylvia M - 8/16/2006
 
He didn't get fired. He was the victim of corporate downsizing, and it was not his fault. Tell him to include that job on his resume and to be honest about it. If he does try to cover things up, they will think he was fired from his last job. He shouldn't bring it up in the cover letter. He should just list it on... More
Answered By: miss advice - 8/16/2006
 
Get a friend or family member to say he was working for them during that dead zone...otherwise they will assume he was in prison!
Answered By: jimi p - 8/16/2006
 
just hav him be truthful, let them know that he "was" a lazy ass, but now he is ready to get up and "DO SOMETHING"
Answered By: jimmbobobb - 8/16/2006
 
just list that period on your resume' as having been self imployed.
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Answered By: david m - 8/16/2006
 
He doesn't have to put it on his resume, Either one of two things will happen: It will either be ignored or overlooked, or the interviewer will ask about it. If the subject does come up, your boyfriend should be truthful, because if he is found to have lied on the application or during the interview, he will most... More
Answered By: gldjns - 8/16/2006
 
Don't say 'I was laid off'. Say 'WE were laid off....' It makes a difference. Also include what was happening during that 1-1/2 year search. Was he also volunteering? Was he busy with family matters?
Answered By: suspendor - 8/16/2006
 
I have had gaps in my employment too (currently I am looking for a job again) and I prefer being honest - it pays off... More
Answered By: estee06 - 8/16/2006
 
Say he was taking care of a sick family member. Best thing is for him to START his OWN company.
Answered By: Legandivori - 8/16/2006
 
1.It depends on the length of the job. If he feels it was significant enough in his career, he could fudge the truth of why he was let go. I do that and I'm still getting interviews... More
Answered By: Adina B - 8/16/2006
 
I'd put the job down as a temporary position and fill in the gap before with a college internship (if I knew someone who would say I interned there) or just fill it in with an "under the table" position that gained whatever skills he has that are unmentioned in the rest of the resume.
Answered By: Silly chick - 8/16/2006
 
As far as the unemployment gap goes, I would go honest instead of sneaky. If he was laid off, that's enough explanation. Young people are more valuable in energy, determination and motivation than experience... More
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Answered By: serpentegena - 8/16/2006
 
I would say it depends on the terms he left on. If he burned bridges on his way out, might want to leave it out. If he left on good terms, maybe ask for a letter of recommendation from his previous employer.
Answered By: Sachiel - 8/16/2006
 
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