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Resume Help/Mention Freelancing on my Resume


Hi Ralph,

I want advise from you on whether i should mention that i am " currently freelancing" in my Resume when i apply for a job.

I am into Software Engineering by profession and finished pursuing my Masters degree in Aug '13.

Well, immediately after my graduation ( in the first week of September ), i got diagnosed with Dengue on a high severity level and got hospitalized. Took me almost 5 months to recover properly and get back to my regular health.

Its a gap of almost 7 months now.. and i am eager to enter into the job world asap.

Should i do something in order to cover up this big gap? I do freelance and even now i am working with a client for his website, so how should i mention the freelancing aspect on my CV ( like presently working as a freelancer or convey it in a different way..? )

Secondly, when the HR asks me the reason for such a big gap, should i tell them the real reason of the Sickness or say something else.

I am an Indian national and i am also actively applying for jobs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi so is there any specific thing to be mentioned in the CV for these GULF based cities?

Many Thanks,


Hi Neville,

First rule of resume writing: don't lie.  First rule of interviewing: don't lie.  Trying to "cover up" an employment gap by lying about it is never a good idea - whether it's your resume or a response to an interview question.

Having said all of that, it is fine to list freelancing as your most recent job.  You don't mention when you started freelancing so I don't know how much of that 7 months would be covered by your freelancing.  In any case, be certain you list employers for whom you have freelanced.  It is one thing to say that's what you've been doing; it is another to prove it.  Never claim anything you can't prove because an employer has multiple ways of verifying your claims - and they will use them all.

The place to explain your employment gap is in the cover letter.  Even if the employer does not ask for one, give them one anyway and simply state very briefly (a few sentences) that you were hospitalized for X months but began freelancing in month/year.  Then they can refer to your resume for the length of time you freelanced and will then understand the reason for the employment gap.

You don't say if you were employed prior to, or during, your masters degree but that is obviously important to include in the resume as well.

I know of no special requirements for the locations you mention.  I do a lot of work for clients in the Middle East and none have told me of any particular requirements related to these locales.

If you would like to put your resume together and then send it to me for my evaluation, I will be glad to give you an analysis.  Attach it to an email and send it to me at the address below.  Put "Resume" or "CV" in the subject line so it isn't deleted as spam.

Best wishes,

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Ralph D. Converse, Ph.D.


I can answer questions about general job searches, resume construction, crafting an effective cover letter, and how to prepare for, and conduct, a winning interview. My speciality is the field of education, but I also have extensive background in business and administration. I know what works and what doesn't work and I can make your application package stand out from the rest ... because that is what you have to do.


I have interviewed for, and held, dozens of jobs in a career going back more than 42 years. I have taught at all educational levels including middle school, high school, community college, and university. In more than 42 years of experience on both sides of the job-search process, I have interviewed hundreds of applicants and have reviewed literally tens of thousands of job application packages. I am the author of 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them! I conduct workshops for job seekers in a variety of locations every year.

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B.A. New Mexico State University; M.Mus. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D. University of California and University of North Texas

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