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TOPIC: Gaps in your career and/or learning history

Gaps in your career and/or learning history 7 years 8 months ago #29808

  • NeoTech
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How would you guys explain a chunk of your life missing (academically/employably) after taking time out to recover from a long term serious illness without putting off a potential employer on a job application?

Basically, i got Lukaemia (spelling?) when i was 13 and fought it for 3 years. Due to that i didnt finish school with as many quals as i could have.
When i was 17 i tried to do an NVQ (national vocational qual) in Install and Support of IT Systems but was unable to complete it due to not having fully recovered from the treatment and mental trauma i had been through. (basically i had energy issues and concentration wasn't there atall). Eventually i was advised by my doctor to take a year or 2 to fully recover and then go back to it.

Suffice to say, i took about 3 and a half years, as it took me a while to mature, make up for lost years and become wise enough to sit and think about what i really wanted to do with my future.

So any advice on explaining that without putting an employer off?

Cheers!

Neo
Tech
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Re: Gaps in your career and/or learning history 7 years 8 months ago #29811

  • Chojin
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Just tell the truth.

If they find your resume interesting they will invite you.
They will surely ask "Why have you been out for a while?"

Just tell 'm... and they'll understand.

Things like : "I didn't feel like working" or "I prefered sleeping over work" won't score points.. but things like "I wanted to explore the world" or "I was sick for a long time" are valid reasons imho.

/edit

Respect for taking things so good.
A lot of people would lay down there battle axe... and stop 'fighting' for an education//future.. where you do.

My compliments.
CCNA / CCNP / CCNA - Security / CCIP / Prince2 / Checkpoint CCSA
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Re: Gaps in your career and/or learning history 7 years 8 months ago #29813

  • timparker
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I would agree. I do have quite a bit of management/hiring/interviewing experience. So don't just leave a hole with nothing listed, that will get you put into a secondary pile of resumes very quickly. You could have the best background and experience, but when someone skims over work history and sees something missing........

Honesty is definately best and you probably should just come up with a condensed version of the things you have faced and dealt with. In an interview you can at that time disclose as much as you feel comfortable or they need to know. This condensed version will fill that hole and give them enough to think about while going through resumes.
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Re: Gaps in your career and/or learning history 7 years 8 months ago #29815

  • D
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Turn it into a positive item. Most resumes with job experience should have a brief accomplishments section. List the fact that you are a recovered luekemia survivor there,, and tie it to that gap. Any employer who throws out your resume specifically because of that is probably someone you don't want to work for anyway. Employers with character will notice that you successfully rose to meet a challenge that few people are ever faced with. As Chojin said, the fact that you chose to pursue education and an IT career afterwards demonstrates that you have drive. To quote a famous person, "the Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

Remember that the main goal on a resume is to get noticed apart from the army of IT clones. Your life story can do exactly that for you if used in the right way.
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Re: Gaps in your career and/or learning history 7 years 8 months ago #29820

  • NeoTech
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Hey guys, thanks for the input. All good points some of which had crossed my mind before.
I have been told that if i mention it employers are likely to overlook me on grounds that i could wind up becoming ill again or something but i disagree with that. I have been clear 8 years now and I have just about as much chance as getting it again as the next guy wether he has had it before or not due to the fact that my bone marrow (the very fabric responsible for creating the defective cells in lukaemia) has been replaced.
My biggest concern, however lies in the lack of understanding most people have about such illnesses.

I had a few strokes when i was in amongst other things and i came out physically and mentally normal. In all honesty im lucky i didnt come out of it retarded or even not come out of it atall so whatever happens, i have a lot to be thankful for.

It'd just blow big time if the last 3 years i have been in college part time summed up to nothing lol. Plus, I wouldnt want to encourage unfair discrimination.

Neo
Tech
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Re: Gaps in your career and/or learning history 7 years 8 months ago #29836

  • TheBishop
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I'm with the general tone of all these comments. Don't leave a gap on your history, briefly explain you were seriously ill but have now fully recovered. And present it as a positive, "look what happened to me but see how I have bounced back and all the great things I've done since then." That demonstrates your real quality to a prospective employer by real evidence; other candidates may be able to talk themselves up but your story proves that you have the goods and that you have a great attitude. Any employer who is too short-sighted to recognise that is probably not someone you would want to work for anyway
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