I have a particular friend who likes to talk about business.
I do too, so I enjoy our conversations.
We were talking about resumes the other day. “Always put the month and the year,” he insisted.
“I only ever put the year,” I replied.
“Oh pleeeeeaaase put the month,” he begged. (He’s a little dramatic sometimes, but I love it.) “If I see just the year, I think you’re trying to cover a gap in employment.”
This gave me pause. Who the fuck cares about hiding an employment gap these days? Well, I suppose he’s in insurance. Not the most innovative of industries. He may not have noticed a couple key things about the job market lately.
Exhibit A: Your layoff is no longer uncommon
People have been losing jobs left and right for the past several years. Even though things have been better in the last couple years, a lot of people have a layoff in their employment history. Most people under 50 know that layoffs are usually due to poor financial management on the company’s side than poor performance from the employee.
Exhibit B: So why wouldn’t you try it on your own for awhile?
Most people under 50 also know that it’s goddamn common to quit a job to try out some entrepreneurial effort that may or may not ever take off. Hell, when companies are as unstable as they have been, you’re not risking as much to go it on your own. At least you’ll know what’s in the business bank account.
If people want to hide “gaps” in their resumes, we’re a damn sight more educated about how to do it than to try to fudge the dates when we were with a publicly traded company. It’s more beneficial to present yourself as a solopreneur with a clever business name and a few bullet points of accomplishments.
And if it comes out that you weren’t receiving payment? Fuck it. You gained experience doing something you were passionate about. You weren’t sitting on your ass waiting for someone to tell you what to do.
Companies that don’t get that are kidding themselves
There are industries out there, unfortunately, that still care about what our parents cared about: You were with a company for more than five years, you’ve never been laid off, you were steadily employed for the past 20 years, etc.
It’s ignorant of them to expect that.
Your job history looks different than your parents’ did.
Any company that expects otherwise has its head in the sand.
Not historically a great company to work for, by the way.