How important is job continuity on one's resume?

Microsoft HGqw60
Jul 15, 2017 12 Comments

Thinking of taking some time off or time to do some contract work. Is having a time gap on my resume going to be detrimental?

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TOP 12 Comments
  • I'm no expert, but I've consistently heard that it's more about WHAT you were doing during your time off. It's one thing to take a year off to finish your masters degree, and another completely different matter to quit your job and go study the migrations of blowfish in Mauritania lol. Inaccurate example, but you get my drift
    Jul 15, 2017 1
    • OpenX / Other YLhb03
      You're right. That second example is much more impressive.
      Jul 15, 2017
  • JDA Software / Eng
    Dazhdbog

    JDA Software Eng

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    Software craftsman. Architecture. Design. APIs. DDD. COTS. SaaS.
    Dazhdbogmore
    Contract work doesn't mean you didn't have a job. Smarter companies praise contract work because you get better experience than being at one company for a long time. If you have a mix of the two you should be good. It's transitioning from one to the other that might give some interviewers a pause on culture fit. Or jumping non-contract more than every 18 months on the west coast or more than every 2-3 years on the east coast.

    If you have an actual time gap, like for traveling the world then put it in there with a description. Most everyone reading it will be jealous/curious and ask you about it. Then you can regale them with impressive stories that make them glad you took time off.
    Jul 15, 2017 0
  • Galvanize wixq64
    Agree with the above. Gaps are really problematic when they are a) out of your control, b) you have no explanation for them, c) you have done nothing to keep you skill set current. If you're doing contract work that should not be a gap, that should go on the resume.
    Jul 15, 2017 0
  • Cisco HIrn16
    I worry more about people who don't/won't/can't hold a role for more than 18 months straight. I'd hire someone with interesting gaps much quicker than someone who is bouncing between companies because they are trying to leapfrog salary or they are that horrible to work with.
    Jul 15, 2017 0
  • Databricks blabdhhd
    I took 2.5 years off. Had no issues getting back. Noone asked about why i took the time off. I think it is more normal now for people to go "find themselves"
    Jul 15, 2017 0
  • Microsoft / Eng Skyped
    Start your own boutique consulting company and show your entrepreneurial spirit. Register a domain and use that as your email. Problem solved.

    I have heard of people not getting past the first resume screen because of gaps which means you don't get a chance to explain it. Not sure how often that happens but the cost of a domain is cheap insurance.
    Jul 15, 2017 0
  • It's all about the story you tell. So long as you spin it the right way a gap or contracting work can definitely be towards your advantage.
    Jul 15, 2017 0
  • New / Eng Hunnish
    People are just speculating here. As someone that did this for 2yrs after leaving MSFT - it doesn't matter at all. As long as you can show your skill set in the interviews (IMO easier when you have the time off to Leetcode), it doesn't matter.

    You'll have an easier time if you do some side project work when you're off, though.
    Jul 15, 2017 1
    • CareerBuilder hdTI13
      To be fair, just because you did it doesn't mean you are speculating any less. It didn't hurt YOU (that you know of). That is not generalizable to all people in all markets
      Jul 15, 2017
  • Internet Brands / Product Ibbyliever
    The reason for the gap is very important. Six months to take care of an ailing family member is different from six months to travel the world or six months to try starting your own business. What's key is being able to fit the gap into your professional narrative. If you can use it to emphasize development of, or synergy with, soft or hard skills a prospective employer would find attractive, the impact should be minimal. Beyond 6 months for any reason can be a lot riskier.
    Jul 15, 2017 0
  • CareerBuilder hdTI13
    Gaps up to a few months require no explanation and won't count against you. Any more than that and you should be able to explain what you were doing.
    Jul 15, 2017 0

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