Monday, March 30, 2009

Long-Term Illness on Resume

How do you list long-term illness on a resume? Let's say you were hospitalized for clinical depression for two years, and unable to do anything but recover during that time.

This question came up in a train-the-trainer resume workshop I gave last week for resume counselors at a government-funded employment agency. Here's a solution the group came up with:

1. Use years (no months) in the work history.
2. For the gap in employment, list "Caregiver for household member" as the job title.

As one job counselor in my workshop pointed out, it's none of the employer's business that the job seeker was ill, what kind of illness he had, or how he was treated for his illness. He was, in fact, a caregiver during that time -- he was caring for himself (a member of his household).

I thought this was a very creative approach to handling a lengthy illness on a resume. It's honest, doesn't go into unnecessary details, and hopefully keeps the job applicant in the running for a job.

1 comment:

TimsStrategy said...

I like it, Susan. There's no easy way to handle, of course. In this case I like a few facts but no details. And certainly no long, heartfelt stories. Having lost both my parents, I have a lot of feelings about the time I took to care for them. But an interviewer doesn't need to hear the personal aspects. It fills the gap with a reasonable and relatively common task these days. Asked and answered.