What would be the most suitable way of explaining long gaps on resume, in employment history due to health reasons.
January 13, 2011 11:54 AM Subscribe
Need urgent help with resume making, given less than optimal circumstances, namely a history of illness and accompanying lack of employment for an extended period of time.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (13 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
I have been dealing with crippling depression and anxiety for a number of years. This had caused me to drop out of the Masters program (in engineering) that I was enrolled in, about 6 odd years ago and made it virtually impossible to have any kind of meaningful employement for almost the entire time since. I was barely functional during this period, staying at home or with friends and just trying to get through each day.
However, slowly and with a lot of help, I was lucky to be able to dig myself out of this mess and build a life again. About 3 years ago, I was able to return to school and finished my degree a year ago. Over this period, I was quite productive and was able to land (and hold on to!) a research assistantship, publish three papers and also present at a couple of conferences. I still struggle but have things under control to the extent that I can function quite well and no one who met me today would be able to guess what I was like only a few years ago. Since graduating, I have been working on a full time basis in the same lab that I was working in as a student.
However the time has come for me to seek employment outside and I'm at my wit's end as to how to go about it. I had not had to make a resume or go looking for a job right after graduation, since boss (my advisor at the time) had been liked my work enough to offer me to stay on for a year longer.
Just sitting down to make a resume makes me start sweating and I feel completely paralyzed. I have no idea how to explain the long gaps in my educational and employment histories or the lack of any tangible achivements, given my age (I'm in my ealy 30s now) and every negative feeling and thought that I've ever had about wasting awaying so many years to anxiety and depression come flooding back.
I'm looking for advice and help on the following issues :
a) What would be the best resume format for me to use, given my circusmtances.
b) Should I use a professional resume writing service? Are they worth the expense?
c) If not, could you recommend any books or website which have good advice on resume writing? There are just so many choices out there and if any had particularly helped you, that would help in narrowing down the options.
d) Do you have any advice on how to best to best explain the gaps and yet draw positive attention to the things I have been able to do in the last 3 years.
e) If you or someone you know have been in a similar situtation and were able to successfully land a job, how did you go about it?
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