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Old 06-18-2008, 08:29 AM
 
7,340 posts, read 16,650,851 times
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If you come across a resume' that shows a person has been out of work for at least 6 months (from their last job), would you continue looking over the resume' or "can it"? Basically, what is the longest time a person can be out of work before HR or a Hiring Manager will "toss" the resume'?
Ok, this is what I'm looking at: My last job ended in Oct 2007 (due to moving out of State), but a month later my wife and I got a Small (in home) Business License for photography. My job was being the photographer and doing some office/computer type work. This Business has not gone good with very little income. In fact, we are thinking about not renewing our License. I was told to put this Business on my resume' to "cover" myself for the months since I left my last "real" job in Oct. 07. Well, being a photographer doesn't really relate to anything else I've done in employment, SO, I was thinking about taking that "home business"/job off which would then show that I haven't worked since last Oct 07. Good idea or not? I just don't know what to do. I have sent some resume's out with this "home business" on it and my position as a Photographer, but haven't gotten one call about a job.
Suggestions?
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Old 06-18-2008, 08:50 AM
 
7,340 posts, read 16,650,851 times
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Actually, ANYONE who want to comment.....please do!!
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:39 AM
 
9,228 posts, read 18,950,277 times
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I'm not an HR person, but a manager who does hire people. I think this depends on your field, and the opinions of the hiring manager. I personally don't care as much about gaps in a resume as some seem to.
If someone explains that they took care of an ill family member for 8 months, or tried to start a home business for 6 mos, or took a trip around the world, I'm fine with that, as long as they have the other requisite experience on their resume.

I once hired a woman who seemed very self conscious about her 2-year gap in her resume, and after I hired her, she told me how grateful she was and how surprised she was that I didn't reject her based on those two years. It turns out she had had a baby who had severe medical problems, and who eventually died at age 2.

Heck, in my field we are even okay if someone had a year on disability for a mental illness.

My advice would be to be honest about what you did during that time, how the decision was important to you, what you learned from it, etc. It can actually be seen as a plus. Being a photographer doesn't have anything to do with the jobs at my company, but the experience might make the candidate stand out a little from other applicants, and gives me a more 3D picture of who the person is.
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Old 06-18-2008, 10:01 AM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,191 posts, read 28,123,837 times
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I agree. Put the business on your resume. Use the business name, a description of what you do, etc. Use the dates from 11/2007 - present.
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Old 06-18-2008, 12:18 PM
 
7,340 posts, read 16,650,851 times
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Ok, I guess this will be my decision to take off or leave on the photography business. I just wish most employers would think the way TracySam does about seeing some kind of gap in an employment history dates or seeing a position that is different from the rest. Let the prospective employee EXPLAIN the gap or the position instead of automatically "canning" the resume'.
One thing I was told however, do not reveal on the resume' that it is a "home business" or that I own it.
Bad thing about starting a "home business", it takes money (sometimes too much) to make money and you have to have a product to sell that the public really wants to buy. Unfortunately, we didn't wind with either.
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Old 06-18-2008, 12:39 PM
 
Location: Marion, IN
8,191 posts, read 28,123,837 times
Reputation: 7119
Neither did I. While I do have customers, the business is inconsistent at best. Unlike the bills, which are alarmingly consistent. Most interviewers that have even asked find it fascinating that I have a business. I think they appreciate the fact that I had enough gumption to start one.
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Old 06-18-2008, 12:40 PM
 
9,228 posts, read 18,950,277 times
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I personally would never toss a resume with a gap, if all the other stuff on the resume looked good.

I tend to have a big problem with seeing that people jump around from job to job and don't stay anywhere for any length of time. But what would really get me to blindly toss out a resume are spelling and gramatical errors on the resume. If your other experience looks good, and you can spell and string a sentence together, you are probably okay.
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Old 06-18-2008, 01:22 PM
 
7,340 posts, read 16,650,851 times
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Yes, most people do their resume's in MS Word, which has a "spell-check" area, but do they use it????????
I remember, on my last job, the Director gave me a couple of applications to review for a warehouse job. This one guys hand writing was so terrible, I could hardly read what he had wrote on the application, PLUS, he misspelled Army. I showed/told the Director about the resume', but, since he had a "soft heart" and was tired of interviewing, he hired the guy. I spent 3 years trying figure out what this guy was writing on any of our Forms. He would put away stock in one area and write down an entirely different area, halve of the time. What a hassel to work with someone like that!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TracySam View Post
I personally would never toss a resume with a gap, if all the other stuff on the resume looked good.

I tend to have a big problem with seeing that people jump around from job to job and don't stay anywhere for any length of time. But what would really get me to blindly toss out a resume are spelling and gramatical errors on the resume. If your other experience looks good, and you can spell and string a sentence together, you are probably okay.
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Old 06-18-2008, 02:28 PM
 
9,228 posts, read 18,950,277 times
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And that was a warehouse worker! You'd be surprised at the huge mistakes people with Master's degrees have made on their resumes they sent me!

I agree with Racelady; I would look favorably at someone who had tried to start their own business (excluding things like drug dealing or nude webcamming). It might show that the person has motivation, can work independently, and has creativity.

The worst thing to do would be to lie or confabulate to try to cover up gaps in your work history. I always love people who just can't say they were unemployed, and they claim they were "doing some consulting." When I ask for examples of the "consulting" work, or references from someone they "consulted for", they get all flushed and make up more excuses. Just be honest.
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Old 06-18-2008, 02:56 PM
 
7,340 posts, read 16,650,851 times
Reputation: 4567
Actually, this warehouse worker that was hired, wrote Army as Amry on the application (he didn't have a resume', he just read the ad and stopped by our office/warehouse to fill out an application. Giving him the "benefit of the doubt", he didn't have "spell-check" to use.
I remember another company that I applied to (and got the job), the Shop Foreman told me that he recieved nearly a hundred resume's for the job I got and over half of the resume's had absolutely no experience in the position (and this was not an Entry-Level Trainee type job). He got resume's from Gardener's, Pool Maintenance people, a couple from former Restaurant Waitresses, etc.
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