But I’ve Job-hopped a Lot: How to Close the Gap

A lot of clients that come to LUCID are (mostly) ladies who have either taken time off their career to have children and/or help their husbands in business. Others come to LUCID because, in their travels, they have decided to have a change in career.

One of the main concerns that these clients express to me is that, while they have taken time off from their career, they have delved in odd jobs here and there and they don’t know how to bridge this gap upon returning to their career.

Think of the Criminal Investigator who took 5 years off to manage real estate property overseas and is ready to hit the ground running with crimes again (lighthearted pun intended). Think of the Personal Assistant who led a high-flying career some years ago but now just wants to settle down as a Teacher’s Aide and wants to work during school hours only. Think of the Training Manager who doesn’t want to change careers but would like to step back to part-time hours and just needs to work out a way to come across as still keen, interested and committed, but just needs a lighter work load for now.

These are all important changes.

She led a very colourful life in a very colourful world

Then there is the client who took 8 years off her career to be mother to 3 young children, helping them transition into school and as she has waved goodbye to the baby of the family, she figures it’s time to get back into her career.

“But I’ve really done nothing during this time,” she says hesitantly.

Doing nothing is sometimes doing everything

My bet is that nobody EVER does nothing.

As I delve a little deeper, I discover that she has collaborated with planning and activities for her local Playgroup, she has also assisted with Reading in Prep classroom, she has volunteered in the school office with some administration tasks and last but not least, she has actually been studying part-time and a year ago landed a voluntary position in the field.

Planning, organising, teamwork, fresh administration, great with numbers, attention to detail and time management right there!

‘Does that sound like nothing to you?’ I want to jab playfully.

But you see, that is where someone like myself comes into the picture – to assist you. I know that I can dig a little deeper and find the skills that you cannot see for yourself. It’s why I value my consultations with my clients so very much – it allows me to get to know you and get a good grasp of what your journey has been like thus far, so that I can gain an idea of where your journey is headed from here.

If a colourful, or if you prefer the word ‘shady’, job history is a concern to you, I have some good news for you. First of all, what recruiters want to see first is your skill set. Next, they want to see some fresh experience – we’re talking about what you’ve been up to in the last 5 years. Lastly, they want to see whether you might be a good fit for their company and thus they may make a phone call to schedule an interview with you.

live upside down
Take another perspective

Did you notice that the first thing they look at is your skill set? It is not your job history per se. Your job history comes later.

So we need to write your Resume in a way that reflects your true skill set and let me tell you this much: It does not matter that you performed this or that 10 years ago, or even 15 years ago. If you have performed it and have experience in it and it becomes relevant for the next job you’re applying for, we need to show it off! This skill gets listed under the Skills section of your Resume. In fact, all skills that you used in your career 10+ years ago need to be listed under the Skills section (unless those skills have become obsolete, such as tasks like faxing files)(faxes don’t exist anymore, right?)

After you have updated your Skills section to truly reflect your skill set as a whole, you can move onto each role that you are listing in your Resume. Let’s say that you are applying for a position as a Teacher Aide but you have been in Banking previously, you need to list the dot points under your Banking positions in the order in which the recruiter will be looking for in a Teacher Aide.

Does that make sense?

I will show you what that looks like:-

2013-2016          Client Solutions, Banking

* Processing customer enquiries and meeting KPI’s

* Attending to customers as back-up to team members

* Handling large amounts of cash

The above dot points should be edited to skills that a Teacher Aide needs to bring to the table (and that you’ve obviously used in your Banking role). What does a Teacher Aide need to bring to the table? Time Management, Teamwork and let’s say Excellent Work Ethic (when it comes to unruly behaviour in children!)

So let’s change the dot points in your Resume to the following:

2013-2016          Client Solutions, Banking

* Time Management – Organising work in order to effectively meet KPI’s

* Team Player – Collaborating with team members to achieve required


* Excellent Work Ethic – Attending to client concerns with tact and                                              seeking resolution as quickly as possible


Can you see the difference and can you FEEL the difference it makes?

Let’s now have a look at how these new dot points reflect you to the recruiter:

* Time Management – Organising work in order to effectively meet KPI’s

>>> A Teacher Aide needs to organise her work effectively in order                                   to have all the work prepared in time for eg, the children’s afternoon                                     activities. The recruiter can EASILY imagine you doing so with flair!

* Team Player – Collaborating with team members to achieve required


>>> A Teacher Aide needs to collaborate with the Teacher in order to

assist in managing the classroom activities and children’s behaviour.

The recruiter can easily imagine you collaborating with the Teacher.

* Excellent Work Ethic – Attending to client concerns with tact and                                              seeking resolution as quickly as possible

>>> A Teacher Aide needs to have the same tact and concern for the                                       children and their welfare and educational goals. The recruiter can                                         easily see that if you can handle client complaints, you can easily                                             handle certain situations with children.

sexy corporate woman bw
And then she felt totally all over it

That is how I do it for you. I take a wide look at your skill set and I have a look at how I can apply it to the job you are applying for. I can do this easily because I am not in your shoes. But it is precisely what you need from me – much more than the Resume & Cover Letter itself 😉 We can NEVER see our own wonderful talents and skills, can we! We always need an outsider to point it out to us.

How many times has a friend said, “But you’re SO great at organising birthday parties.” and you’re left thinking, ‘Really?!’

It always takes an outsider’s view.

But I am here sharing this with you because I want to encourage you to do it for yourself! Follow these steps for yourself with each Resume that you tailor for each field. Chances are, you will not be applying for just one position but many. These are vital skills to have. So take my suggestions liberally, apply them and experience the CONFIDENCE from discovering and truly knowing the power that you carry inside  of you.

Does that colourful job history look so daunting anymore?

I bet not !

All the best, my dear friends!

Let me know how you go.








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