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Hi Ralph,

I recently read an online career article that said applicants should drop their home address from the resume, especially if applying for a job in another area, so as not to be eliminated from the applicant pool due to distance. If so, I find myself often having to fill out online applications on company websites when I apply for jobs, so dropping address would be counter-intuitive since it would be on the app. What do you think?

Second, because of my varied work experience, I use a combo skills/chronological resume. Unfortunately, due to the economy and some bad choices with companies I chose to work for, I have some nice gaps in my resume (2012, 2013 and 2015-present). I am finding it challenging to get interviews plus the fact I am in my late 40s. For the first gap, I note my bank was acquired the same month as my employment ended (laid off), in case there's no accompanying application. As for the gap in 2013-2014 and 15-present, should I address in the cover letter or only in the application when it asks for employment gap reasons? One was termination and the second was resignation because of adverse work conditions/boss.

Last, I include 20 years of experience in my resume because the last position on page 2 is relevant to my most recent position worked in 2014-2015 and a career I want to continue doing in the future. If I drop it off, will the skills section be sufficient to note what I learned in that role? How else can I do this?

Sorry for the long query, but I am frustrated with my current job hunt and lack of responses and want to ensure all my bases are covered. Thanks so much for your help!

Answer
Hi Wayne,

I don't (personally) subscribe to the theory about leaving off the home address.  So many jobs are available in all areas of the country AND those jobs are advertised nation-wide.  Why would an employer advertise nationally or internationally if they were not expecting out-of-town applicants?  You're right; it's on the app, so it is indeed counter-intuitive.

The work gap issues are tricky because you have to decide what to include and how to include it.  My best advice - since every app is different - is to construct your documents as they fit your situation best.  The number of years you include is not as important as allowing the employer to see what you can do for them and how you can fill their needs.  Anything that does that, is a good strategy.  I would continue to include the older work history when it fits the job for which you are applying.  Otherwise, go with the skills section.

Best wishes,
Ralph

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Ralph D. Converse, Ph.D.

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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.

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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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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!

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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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