Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Employment Gap on Resume

Question
Here’s my situation. I graduated from nursing school in May 2006, started as an RN in the OR in August 2006, herniated a disk in November 2006, and haven’t been back since. It looks like I will be released to return to work within the next couple weeks.

I have little nursing experience and a gap of about seven months. Technically I’m still employed by the hospital and they have to give me a job somewhere, but I’m looking to find something outside of the hospital.

Should I even mention this gap on my resume? I don’t want my resume to be false showing more experience than I actually have.
Help!
---Andrea

Answer
by Beth Brown, Professional Resume Writer

Gaps are tricky – we don’t want them to be there, but we can’t quite ignore them, either. On a resume, you don’t necessarily have to include the months of your employment, but you do need to account for your time, especially since 2006. And it’s generally not a good idea to mention a herniated disk on your resume!

In your case, Andrea, you need to think about what you want your next career step to be. Do you still want to do something related to nursing? If so, then it might be a good idea to take that next job at the hospital, so that you could close the gap in your work history by just listing the hospital job since 2006. While you are at the hospital, things might change for you so that you actually like working there! Or, it will give you some time to look for something else, while building “equity” in your nursing experience.

If you are looking for something outside of the nursing profession, then you might consult a career coach who can help you determine what that next step will be, and whether mentioning your recent experience makes sense or not.

In the meantime, give yourself permission to explore possibilities, and treat yourself gently as you complete your healing process.

Good luck!

Beth Brown has been a resume writer on Susan Ireland’s team for over 10 years, and has worked with more than 1000 clients from all over the world and all walks of life.

1 comment:

Working Girl said...

Aren't nurses in HUGE demand? Surely this issue should be factored in.

We need nurses!