Hess Associates

So you have been off work for a few months, either due to the labour market, or the labour (maternity) market, or because you had worked for 10 or 15 years, or more, and seriously wanted a break, or due to family obligations. All fine, but what do you do about the gap? Or as they say in London, its’ up to you to Mind the Gap!!!! These days, companies tend to look for employed people, assuming they are totally up to date, happy, not bitter, and maintaining their competitive edge. You have to fit this same bill.

If you have been out of work for a while, make sure your skills are where they should be, doing this either by studying, volunteering, doing projects as a consultant, honing up at home (depending what area you work in of course). Put this on your resume in the appropriate spot.

If you have stayed home on parental leave, perfectly fine!!! But again assure the employer in some way that you have kept up – online courses, for example (after all, you are up all night anyway, so might as well study!!!).

If you wanted some “ME” time, you probably deserve it. But make sure it is evident that you are still “with it”, and in the know – whatever that means in your profession. The same would be true
for any happy or sad family obligations you had to attend or attend to.

Give yourself a tetanus shot so you are not rusty:

Network with people in your field, so any potential employer will know, while speaking with you, that you know what’s what, and who’s who. Also networking is a really good way into the job market. Nothing beats human contact, nothing. You can’t operate in a vacuum.

If the gap is a few months, it is not dishonest to use years worked at each company, e.g. 2010-2013, instead of Feb. 2010 – March 2013, keeping the proper years. Also consider a brief explanation of any gap in your cover letter. Best to put it out there in an honest fashion.

Have a positive attitude, and have your resume look positive, so that you could say you were trying to refocus your career and find a position within your industry of choice, and perhaps a specific position.

Try engaging people with blogs, write articles, or try to be a knowledge expert, subject matter expert, answering questions on some of the LinkedIn interest groups, or within societies in your industry, so people get to see your name and associate it with knowledge.

Keep up your physical side, work out, swim, run, whatever you prefer, as this will make you feel and look better (and who knows whom you may meet at your health club!).

Update your profiles on all social networks, with as much work detail as you can. Recruiters are out there!

As you know, getting a job is a full-time job!!!! Enjoy your time, as soon you will be back in the 9 to 5 routine!!