A gap on a resume is hands down, without question and I mean for certain (can you tell I am serious?) the biggest concern for cancer survivors returning to the workforce after treatment. It is the question most often asked on our website, at our events, frankly anywhere I am that someone talks to me. And, when I get asked about it one of the things I am always quick to point out is that the great recession has done one thing right for survivors in the workplace, it has made a gap more common, normal even. Meaning it is less likely that a prospective employer will assume a health crisis is to blame or even bat an eye at seeing one.
Now there is actual proof that the stigma attached to a gap is lessening, yesterday the Harvard Business Review’s blog posted an article about this very issue and in it reports that CareerBuilder found that 85% of hiring managers and HR managers are more understanding of employment gaps now than pre-recession. And, as if that wasn’t enough, the article goes on to describe what hiring managers expect to see people doing with that time off and all of it is stuff CAC routinely recommends highlighting on resumes! Things like taking a class, volunteering, accepting a temporary or contract position. Of course, for many people the reason they aren’t working through treatment is the same as why they can’t take a class or volunteer. The point is once you are on the road back to work and preparing for the job search process, it might help to re-engage by taking one of these suggestions, read the whole article here: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2012/04/what_employers_want_from_the_l.html?awid=9095176114380140788-3271.
For other suggestions on addressing a gap in your resume: http://www.cancerandcareers.org/en/looking-for-work/resume-gap and for general resume writing tips: http://www.cancerandcareers.org/en/looking-for-work/write-your-best-resume.
Image courtesy of weretheclockend.blogspot.com