Resume Help/Resume gaps


Hi Ralph,

I was out of work for some time during the recession.  I have heard that it is much more difficult to get re-employed.  Is this true and, if so, how do I overcome this?


Hi Gilbert,

Good question - and one that I get asked a lot.  The short answer is yes, some employers are taking advantage of a large number of unemployed and are automatically eliminating anyone out of work for longer than six months.  However, that is not universally true; it depends on the employer.

Typically you should explain gaps in your employment in the cover letter you write.  On the resume, you should describe any internships you might have worked during the employment gap; also list any further education in the appropriate section of your resume, and any volunteer work you did will also help an employer to understand that you were busy improving your job fitness and that you were staying busy.

Beyond that, you may need to seek out employers who have no such prejudice against unemployments during the economic downturn; often, small companies or other institutions can be a good way to break back into the ranks of the employed.

If you'd like me to take a look at your letter and resume after you rework them, I would be happy to give you a critique.  Send them to me as an attachment on an email to the address below.

Best of luck!

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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.

Music Educator's Journal, Teaching Music, Music and American Culture (forthcoming, 2013), Last Teacher Standing: The Job is Yours Now! and 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them!

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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