The employment gap

Discuss the Employment Gap

After undergoing many grueling rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, Darrin was now officially cancer free. He rang the bell to applause from the hospital staff and his fellow patients and looked forward to a new chapter in his life.

Unfortunately, due to his lengthy illness, Darrin had lost his job. His treatment and recovery took over a year. Now, as he was preparing to send out resumes to prospective employers, one thing would surely stand out (and not in a good way): a lengthy employment gap.

Darrin was faced with a dilemma. He thought to himself, “If I create a conventional chronological resume, I will have an employment gap that the employer will certainly notice. If I create a functional resume and leave out dates, the employer may think I’m hiding something. Of course, I could always mention something in my application letter, but what if the employer is scared off by it? What should I do?”

Of course, there are many people just like Darrin who have employment gaps for a whole host of reasons. Some, like Darrin, may have gone through health challenges. Others may choose to take time away from work to raise young children or to care for an ailing relative.

But if we look at this issue from the employer’s perspective, an unexplained unemployment gap may look suspicious. It is only natural to wonder what an individual was doing during that gap. For instance, the employer might assume that the applicant lacks motivation or interviews poorly.

For your initial post, put yourself in Darrin’s shoes. Assume you are applying for a job that looks perfect for you. How will you handle the issue of the employment gap in your application materials? In addition, assuming you are called in for an interview, how might you deal with this dilemma?

The employment gap

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