Will Employment Gaps Hurt My Executive Job Search?

by Meg Guiseppi on November 16, 2010

With unemployment at around 10% and job search frequently stretching out beyond 10 to 12 months, more and more executive job seekers are stuck figuring out how to deal with prolonged employment gaps on their resumes and other career marketing communications.

How do you best deal with these gaps and not risk sending up all kinds of red flags?

You can’t lie and make up a job to fill the gap. You can’t extend the length of employment for jobs on either side of the gap – that’s lying too.

A new study by Recruiting Trends offers hope. The May 2010 survey of 111 national recruiters revealed that they’re thinking differently about screening and engaging talent:

  • 81% of recruiters will lend leniency to time gaps on the resume
  • 89% of recruiters will look favorably at volunteering as an alternative to career employment to fill in the gap
  • 93% of recruiters were positive on temporary and consultative engagements as a bridge between positions
  • 48% of recruiters would look toward individuals looking to make a significant career change

Your takeaway

Perhaps recruiters and hiring authorities aren’t as concerned as they used to be about employment gaps. But play it safe. Avoid gaps altogether with a consulting gig or by volunteering. Both options provide a wealth of benefits and can, in themselves, lead to long-term job opportunities.

More about the benefits of volunteer in my Executive Resume Branding post, Volunteering Powers Up Your Personal Brand, Network, and C-Level Executive Job Search.

Other related posts:

The Inside Story on Working With Executive Recruiters

How to Write An Irresistible C-level Executive Brand Resume

16 Deadly Executive Job Search Mistakes

How To Tap Into Hidden C-level Executive Jobs

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