Updating resume

You need to address this gap on your résumé, as employers will want to know how you spent the time.

"Human resources professionals and recruiters are trained to look for gaps, and that's the first thing they're going to ask about," says career coach Sherri Edwards, owner and principal of the Seattle-based consultancy Resource Maximizer.

"The software will likely reject those tricks as fraud," she explains.

Edwards suggests condensing the arts-sector info on your résumé so it doesn't take up as much space as your legal background.Fortunately, Edwards says, there are ways to present employment gaps in the best light without lying.They key is to decide on an explanation to frame your path, however winding, in a way that makes sense.Drop all but the past 15 years of professional experience from your résumé, advises vocational psychologist and career coach Janet Scarborough Civitelli, who runs the Austin, Texas–based consultancy Vocation (She makes an exception for folks who have a strategic reason to include earlier experience.) Unless you work in academia or the sciences, stick to two single-sided pages, she adds.Unless you recently returned to school or obtained a professional certification, it's usually best to omit education dates from your résumé, Scarborough Civitelli says. In the academic and science fields, for example, hiring managers will expect to see graduation dates. Choose a simple 10- or 12-point font such as Helvetica or Calibri, but when pasting a résumé into an online form, you may need to use plain text, to avoid formatting problems.

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