Resume Help/resume gaps


Hi Torski, here's the deal: I have gaps in my resume and it's hurting my job search.

In college, I had seasonal jobs. I graduated in 2013 and found a job in online education (admissions) around October of 2013. The job didn't pan out, and I left that job in March 2014 in order to pursue writing my novel.

So, now it's May 2015 and my novel is complete, and (surprise) it didn't become an instant bestseller. I've been submitting resumes for months, but getting few callbacks. I've had one or two recently. My staffing agency has produced one position, which I didn't get (thankfully I've grown accustomed to rejections as an aspiring novelist).

My resume reads thus (short version):

MAR 2014 - MAY 2015: exploring life, traveling, and weighing my options while writing my novel, "A Day in the Life of Edgar Schlimm".

OCT 2013 - MAR 2014  Admissions Advisor (company name)

MAY 2010 - SEPT 2013 Seasonal positions at (company name) while a student at university

I have a BA in English, and I've been applying for office positions. I feel I'm applying within my qualifications.

Mainly, I'm applying for writing positions. Proofreader, copywriter, and so on. I feel my education and writing skills should be placing me in these positions, but for some reason I get few responses.

Recently I've gotten a response from an online marketing company, and they're asking for writing samples. Should I show them one of my query letters and a chapter from my novel? I feel like this demonstrates my writing skills while proving I've been working on my novel.

Am I going about this correctly? I appreciate your input, thanks.


There should NEVER be a part of your resume that reads, "exploring life, traveling, and weighing my options."

Any gaps in employment should be explained in a well-written cover letter.

If you have been writing a novel since graduation, then list this as your experience from March 2014 - May 2015.

Still being unemployed, you need to think about filling your gaps with volunteer service in areas that accentuate your best skills.

Now that the book is published, you need another alibi.

I hope this helps!

"America's Top Career Confidence Coach"

Resume Help

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Torski Dobson-Arnold


I can answer questions in regards to resume development, career transition, career planning, salary negotiation, the interview process, networking in a job fair/trade show environment, telephone screening and practically answer issue as it relates to career planning. With 10 years of being on the front lines of the applicant and recruitment process as a strategic human resources professional, I have the "insider track" to what sparks the interests of hiring managers to what top ten things you need to avoid when applying for new opportunities.


10 years in private and public strategic, professional human resources roles. 2 years as a professional resume writer, career coach. Own and operate an elite firm specializing in resume writing and other career services, Your Career Confidence, LLC (

NAAAHR (National Association of African-Americans in HR) NRWA (National Resume Writers Association) AORCP (Association of Online Resume and Career Professionals) SHRM (Society of Human Resources Management)

BA, Marketing Management, Mary Baldwin College, VA MS, Human Resources Management, Troy University, AL PHR certification (awarded in 2006)

©2016 All rights reserved.