Jennifer M. on January 5, 2011
Resume Building and Writing
I was self employed when first diagnosed with breast cancer late in 2009. After some complications early in my chemo treatments, I decided to take 2010 off to focus on my treatments and health, returning to my hometown to live with my family. I believe that taking that time off helped my health and will allow me to return to work that much faster in 2011. I've decided to pursue a job as a FTE rather than return to my consulting practice.
I stepped away from work completely in 2010 but did some blogging, some writing, and volunteering for cancer groups.
I started doing some interviews and sending my resume out and the feedback has been interesting so I thought I'd share some of the comments I'm getting in case its useful to others.
After reading this blog, I decided:
1) Not to share anything up front about my diagnosis;
2) State in my resume that I am currently a consultant without reflecting any sort of interruption in work;
3) However, in phone interviews and cover letters, I state that I stepped away from work and relocated to address a "family health issue"
I've had a couple of HR folks make a point of asking for "recent" work samples and names of "current" clients. My sense is that, with the current employment climate,there are so many people that have been unemployed for months if not years, there is an automatic skepticism when you say you're a consultant. I simply said I was sharing work that was reflective of what I do...But wonder if that was a time to be more honest with the HR interviewer?
I don't want to make it seem like I'm lying but I also want to get my foot in the door.
A) Should I put something on my resume to reflect the work interruption in 2010?
B) Should I "come clean" about my cancer treatment in 2010 in a second/third/fourth interview, or simply wait until I get an offer, or never say anything at all? I have a feeling I may ultimately reveal it depending on the person I'm talking with...