Resume-Writing After a Long Work Absence
Functional resumes are often used in cases where your experience is the same from one job to the next. For example, if you are an accountant, you may use a functional resume if the skills and job functions are the same in each job you're considering. It also makes sense if you are new to the work force and have little work experience.
If you've had different job functions in several companies in your work history, then a functional resume could be a red flag for hiring managers, says Charles Purdy, a senior editor at Monster Worldwide, an online job site based in New York.
"When almost any HR person sees a resume organized like that, they know you are trying to hide a work gap on your resume," he says. "Most hiring managers will look at this and say, 'what are they trying to hide,' and will figure it out."
Purdy says to be upfront in the cover letter about any work gap and more importantly, try to find realistic ways to fill the work gap on your resume. "You don't have to have gotten paid for it to be a valid builder on your resume," he says.
Let's say you've been out of work during the last year but have attended networking events, trade shows and even took a continuing education class in your field. All of that can be added to your resume and it shows you've been trying to enhance your skills while out of work. Maintaining a career-focused blog or Web page also could count as experience on your resume, he says.
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