Stuck in a Career Rut? Allow us to point you in the "Wright" Career Direction

Review of No Canadian Experience, Eh? by Brock University’s Career Services

See on Scoop.itFreelance Writing On Careers & Resumes

It’s tough enough for Canadians to get hired with relevant experience in their field, let for those who do not. These people end up stretching out their achievement statements in order to prove how their skills qualify them. It’s a difficult process. Now imagine the difficulty for a person who might have little to no experience, or even some excellent and relateable experience, but not in the country which they’re applying? This is a common occurrence for International Students and Immigrants, who come to Canada seeking better education or work, but without Canadian experience they end up feeling lost.

… She provides specific suggestions for how to deal with resume writing, filling in gaps and structuring all experiences, as well as how to market yourself and prepare for the interview.

See full review on www.brockcareerservices.com

 

How to Address Gaps in Your Employment

Several of my clients are professional immigrants, aka Internationally Educated Professionals. While they are trying to navigate and understand the job search maze, they are either not working or they are working in survival jobs. Invariably, these jobs are not related to their professions, and some prefer not to mention such jobs on their resumes. Those who haven’t yet found a job face the same challenge – how to account for their time away from the job market.

In a recent survey, a group of Canadian HR professionals and hiring managers were asked “How should candidates address gaps in their employment history?” Nearly thirty-six percent (35.9%) said they should include a statement in the ‘work experience’ section and twenty-three percent (23.4%) indicated that they should give an explanation in a cover letter. Sixteen percent (15.6%) said that candidates should explain (in a chronological resume) where the gap occurred, or they should fill the gap with professional development. From this statistic, it is safe to conclude that 75% of respondents want you to account for the gap.

While keeping the hiring managers’ preferences in mind, here are some additional ways to compensate for, or explain gaps in your employment:

  1. Prepare to tell stories about what you have learned in the survival job without focusing on the title
  2. Register with employment agencies to get some short-term assignments, or look for freelance projects
  3. Use the functional resume format to emphasize notable skills and accomplishments gained from a number of jobs
  4. Arrange practice interview sessions with a family member or friend and make sure you are prepared to answer the ‘gap’ question
  5. Reflect on some activities you have been involved in and see if you can link those activities to the company’s business strategy
  6. Remind yourself that unpaid work is ‘experience’
  7. Attend industry-related seminars, engage in professional development activities or gain an additional certification

Employers understand that there are various reasons why someone may have gaps in his or her employment history. Just be honest about it, and always steer the conversation back to the value benefits they would derive from having you on board.

 

 

Daisy Wright Quoted in Toronto Star

I was again quoted in the Toronto Star of June 2, 2007 by Career Columnist, Janis Foord Kirk. Her series deals with the challenges that internationally-educated professionals face during their transition to Canada.

As I said in the article, employers need to get on board in understanding what these highly-educated immigrants are bringing to the table. Conversely, internationally-educated professionals need to be flexible and open to change. Things are somewhat different from ‘back home’.