I reviewed several resumes this week at the Saratoga Job Fair, and a recurring theme that came up was whether or not to include self-employment on a resume. A couple candidates had 2-5 year gaps since their last position, and when I asked them why, they said they had been working for themselves on various projects.
I explained how it certainly is valuable to show that you are doing something during gaps in employment. When I left retail in 2005, even before I left, I founded my consulting business. This left no gap of employment and allowed me to showcase all the small to large projects I have been working on since then. Even if some of the opportunities didn’t work out, showing the drive to strike out and to fill the gaps with productive activity can make the difference between a job offer and continued unemployment or underemployment