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Post by Kathleen on Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:03 pm

I know this isn't anything new, but volunteering eliminates gaps in your resume and keeps you busy and productive.

For me it was while I was looking to take advantage of training while on unemployment. I went to my local library web site to see if they had the text books I would need, and found instead a Volunteer Program teaching Microsoft Office 7 and Internet basics. Having been an XP user for many many years I wanted to see what 7 was about. I really enjoy the classes, and have been teaching 2-3 classes a month since October '09. Switched to Saturdays when I landed a temp job.

My HOA needed someone to put together and publish the newsletter, so I kept it in electronic form and email it every month. Saving paper and postage! Only a handful of the 120 members still get a "hard copy" by mail.

I am really glad that my pea brain caught this opportunity early in my unemployment, and certain it landed me one promising interview.

My only "gap" is from April '09 to October '09.... much easier to explain. Oh and teaching at the libraries I meet a lot of patrons looking for work - we help each other. cheers cheers cheers
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Post by lsmo_guy on Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:08 pm

This is a topic that I have been thinking about recently. As potential employers see my resume and see that there are not any gaps in it, except for recently, I question, what they think? Having been a hiring manager in my last two roles, I would see gaps in work history and move on to the next resume.
Would it be a good idea to have a current entry within my resume that states something like the following?
"August, 2010 - present
-Diligently seeking next career opportunity within IT
-Volunteering with local Habitat For Humanity group
-Working on obtaining my PMP Certification
-Working on large home projects
-Actively exercising for better health, body, mind, and spirit"

At least it shows activity from August, 2010, and not just an empty seven months. Would this be good?

Thanks

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Post by Guest on Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:20 pm

I think you both have great ideas. The gap question is difficult and brings out the discrimination factor. As someone who did the hiring as well, I have to say, that did not deter me. Particularly in periods of high unemployment that we have had since the 80's. It was the length of service while employed that interested me more.

I think showing initiative to improve your skills and volunteering is a great idea. It shows your willingness to pitch in, take charge and not put a price on everything you do.

Thank you for sharing these with us.

Guest
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Post by Guest on Fri Mar 25, 2011 12:34 pm

lsmo_guy wrote:This is a topic that I have been thinking about recently. As potential employers see my resume and see that there are not any gaps in it, except for recently, I question, what they think? Having been a hiring manager in my last two roles, I would see gaps in work history and move on to the next resume.
Would it be a good idea to have a current entry within my resume that states something like the following?
"August, 2010 - present
-Diligently seeking next career opportunity within IT
-Volunteering with local Habitat For Humanity group
-Working on obtaining my PMP Certification
-Working on large home projects
-Actively exercising for better health, body, mind, and spirit"

At least it shows activity from August, 2010, and not just an empty seven months. Would this be good?

Thanks

I think it looks great...it puts perspective on what you were doing during the time you have been unemployed. It shows that you have ambition too IMO.

Guest
Guest


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Post by superstevies on Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:53 pm

I wish I could say all of these things work here in So. Cal. but My experience with retail and recruiters is that they call BS when they see it. No, I am not saying those fillers are bs. I am saying that I tried that here.

I live in So. Cal. and at a number of interviews they have asked me about gaps in my employment, I said I had been taking classes, voulnteering, and doing freelance work. They commended me for finding things to do with my time, but said unfortunately they wanted somebody with a more current work history.

I even had one of the companys that turned me down refer me to their voulnteers program to do some more voulnteer work, since I seemed to enjoy it so much.

Unfortuately Job Recruiters for Retail Mgmt. are quite brutal and just say right to the point....you have been busy but these are not relative to the jobs at hand most of their clients do not view that as work, retaled to the jobs I had applied to.

Retail here is cut throat and do not really care about warm & fuzzzy things I do with my time. I have been told BOTTOM LINE< They want current work experience. To them voulnteering is just that, Going back to school is just that, I have also been told my employment agency's around my area that they do not even look at resumes that have that kind of filler product. Employers around here just don't care. I was told that stuff looks good on a college application more so than a job application.

But hey, I keep on trying.
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Post by JoanB on Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:25 am

Wow, all of this brutal, ruthless stupidity makes a generally honest, but recently put-upon person in this economy want to go to the dark side and see if I am smart enough to counter all this evil with my own evil of using well-crafted deception.

I've always gotten what little I've gotten with honest merit and hard work. And have been mostly content with that arrangement. If that doesn't work for us schlubs any more, then you powers that be better think long and hard on a much bigger scale about what you are pushing us into and wheter you really think this will end well for you.
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Post by lendmeflight2 on Tue Apr 05, 2011 3:31 am

I agree with both sides. I think it makes you look busy but I am sure hiring managers see that all the time with so many people out of work. I guess it would depend on the hiring manager you get. On my resume I am technically employed even though it is sporadic and very few hours. My boss would say I was full-time if I wanted him too. Although this doesn't seem to have really helped me much.
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Post by NYCman on Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:12 am

As i posted on another post...You are not being DIGITALLY BUSY....doing all that feel good stuff is not what the employers want ...

Are you busy on your website facebook building your brand and network......volunteer work is a waste of time to Gen Y kids....do you have an Ipad and know how to use it.....those is the real questions to ask in 2011.




I think it makes you look busy but I am sure hiring managers see that all the time with so many people out of work.

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Post by Judi58 on Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:49 am

superstevies wrote:I wish I could say all of these things work here in So. Cal. but My experience with retail and recruiters is that they call BS when they see it. No, I am not saying those fillers are bs. I am saying that I tried that here.

I live in So. Cal. and at a number of interviews they have asked me about gaps in my employment, I said I had been taking classes, voulnteering, and doing freelance work. They commended me for finding things to do with my time, but said unfortunately they wanted somebody with a more current work history.

I even had one of the companys that turned me down refer me to their voulnteers program to do some more voulnteer work, since I seemed to enjoy it so much.

Unfortuately Job Recruiters for Retail Mgmt. are quite brutal and just say right to the point....you have been busy but these are not relative to the jobs at hand most of their clients do not view that as work, retaled to the jobs I had applied to.

Retail here is cut throat and do not really care about warm & fuzzzy things I do with my time. I have been told BOTTOM LINE< They want current work experience. To them voulnteering is just that, Going back to school is just that, I have also been told my employment agency's around my area that they do not even look at resumes that have that kind of filler product. Employers around here just don't care. I was told that stuff looks good on a college application more so than a job application.

But hey, I keep on trying.

I went on an interview and the guy told me the same thing he said take this off your resume... I was shocked and yes I live in So Cal...
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Post by Falcon7 on Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:10 pm

I was laid off in July 2008, my wife works PT, 20 Hrs a week. She has applied for almost anything/everything and has had 1 interview (and that was arranged by a friend).
She has a College degree and an excellent work record, but NOTHING! So I don't think it's just a resume gap.
She will be 51 tomorrow (I better not forget) and I'm 57, I think our age is a much bigger factor.

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Post by Judi58 on Tue Apr 05, 2011 12:16 pm

You are more then likely right I am just shy of 53
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Post by NYCman on Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:08 pm

Falcon...do You and her have a digital presence ????

She has a College degree and an excellent work record, but NOTHING! So I don't think it's just a resume gap.

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Post by NY Lady on Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:33 pm

I guess it depends where you are, and like someone said, who interviews you. I applied to 4 jobs, got 4 interviews, Have a work gap since Sept 2009 - no one asked me about it. And being over 50 - my resume doesn't show it. I graduated college in 2003. I got four offers. Maybe it depends on how your resume is arranged? I read everything on the funtional resume.

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Post by Judi58 on Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:29 pm

NY Lady wrote:I guess it depends where you are, and like someone said, who interviews you. I applied to 4 jobs, got 4 interviews, Have a work gap since Sept 2009 - no one asked me about it. And being over 50 - my resume doesn't show it. I graduated college in 2003. I got four offers. Maybe it depends on how your resume is arranged? I read everything on the funtional resume.
WOW this is good to hear I am back in school soon to get my first degree then on to my BA..
maybe one day I will work again...
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Post by Falcon7 on Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:11 pm

NYCman wrote:Falcon...do You and her have a digital presence ????

She has a College degree and an excellent work record, but NOTHING! So I don't think it's just a resume gap.

Sure do, Facebook, Monster, Indeed, CB and all the other online sites, and a large friend/family network. I'm not saying it's a resume gap (because she has been working 12+ years non-stop, just part time), I'm saying it's mostly OLD AGE.

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Post by Kathleen on Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:44 pm

I have had two interviews where the hiring managers were positive about my volunteering. One was last week and he expressed disgust that more unemployed were not using some of their time in this positive fashion. So I was surprised that So-Cal people had experienced different perspectives.
Age isn't something I can or want to try to hide. I want to be hired based on my experience and skills, not hair dye and make-up. I left a temporary job, to look for a permanent one, years ago because I felt I had a lot to offer as a permanent employee. My supervisor told me I only needed one employer to agree with me. I found that employer then still hopeful now.
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