Wednesday, February 09, 2011

I'm Unemployed. What Do I Put on My Resume?

What should you put on your resume if you're currently unemployed? We hear employers don't like to see employment gaps on a resume, so how do you hide the fact that you don't have a job right now? It depends on when your unemployment started. Continue reading...


3rd guy to the left said...

Great post Susan, thanks.

I am in transition since Sept, 2010, and am working as an independent consultant, though I haven't worked on any projects so far worth mentioning. I am usually leaving it out from my resume. Any suggestions?

Susan Ireland said...

3rd Guy,
I suggest you list your "Consultant" position as your most recent job. It's OK to do so without putting any bullet points under the job title. Or, you could write one bullet point statement such as:

- Offer such-and-such services to such-and-such clients who need such-and-such.

Use the "such and such" clauses to market yourself with keywords for your profession.

Good luck with your transition!

Patricia Frame said...

Great recommendation -- too many hiring managers will exclude folks if they do not see current 'work'. And yet we have many good folks living through long job searches. On both the resume, as Susan states, and on social media, especially LinkedIn, it is smart to ensure this section uses the keywords for your next job. Volunteer work, positions on community boards, and such all work - and all offer opportunities to demonstrate customer service, ability to deal with difficult people, and lots of other critical skills. Plus, if you are learning a new skill or technology - whether formally or on your own - do include that in your "current work" accomplishments. Thanks for the great advice Susan!

Subashish said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
3rd guy to the left said...

Thanks a lot Susan. That is sure a help. regards, Suba. (posted before as 3rd guy to the left)

Kujo said...


Can you give an example of what to write if you've only done self study/training (completed certifications), and technical projects to increase you skills during the gap? I've regretfully not volunteered during my unemployment, which I plan to fix soon if I don't find full-time work very soon. I'm an unemployed IT Pro (for just over a year).

I'm thinking I could write maybe something like:

2010-present, Certification/Skill Upgrading/Continued Learning
- MSCA, Microsoft Certified System Administrator
- VMWare Vsphere Training

Note, I haven't taken any classes. This is all self study.

Susan Ireland said...

I like your idea for listing your independent study under a "job title" to fill the gap. I would suggest making the "job title" more concise. Perhaps, Certification / Professional Development.

Kujo said...

Thank you Susan.

Krysten said...

This message board has been very helpful! What should I put on my resume if I have been laid-off since Sept. 2010 and I have yet to find a job where I would make more then the daycare expenses I would incur? (I have 4 kids under the age of 7) Can I list that I am a homemaker? I have also helped a friend with her Daycare. Should I put that on there? Any thoughts would be helpful! Thank you!

Susan Ireland said...

Hello Krysten,
I recommend you talk to your friend who has the daycare facility and ask what "job title" she's comfortable with you listing on your resume. If she's hesitant to be viewed as your employer, assure her that you'll list your work history under a heading such as "Experience" (not "Employment") so as not to imply that you were paid for the work you did at her daycare. If she's still hesitant, offer to list include the word "volunteer" along with the job title.

Discuss with her what activities you'll list under that job title, which should be truthful, yet demonstrate skills you'd like to use in your next job. And, of course, ask if she'd be willing to serve as a reference.

Best to you in your job search!