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Question:

In 2007, I was laid off from an in-house position due to the sale of the corporation. It was difficult for me to find a like position and I settled for a job that was not a good fit. I now have a year and one-half gap in my resume (except for a four to five month stint as a document review attorney) and the aforementioned four month employment period that failed. I am interested in your advice on approaching this period of employment instability with a prospective employer. Is there a manner to turn this tumultuous period into a positive? I realize not knowing me individually that it is difficult to individualize a succinct response to a my particular dilemma, but do you have any general advice on how to approach the formulation of a sustainable response to what appears as a weakness in my employment history?

How to explain the employment gap in your resume?

Answer:

I'm sorry to learn that you are having so much trouble getting your career back on track. The only thing more stressful than looking for a new job is looking for a new job when you are unemployed. If I can reassure you with anything, I do firmly believe that with perseverance, you can change this situation.

It is not clear from your message what steps you have been taking to get yourself back on track. Now that you have been out of the job market for some time, you have some explaining to do before you even get to the question of whether you are a good fit for a particular employer. You have the stigma of being unemployed and although this may have absolutely nothing to do with your skills or your effort, potential employers will be more wary about hiring you. The good news is that there are several ways to work around this stigma.