In today's economy, you need to carefully present your experience to avoid being seen as unstable. Start by evaluating your situation and determining how bad it really is. If you are panicking about two months of unemployment back in 1993, your job search will probably not be affected. However, if you are dealing with recent periods of unemployment extending for months or even years, you will need to start strategizing.
If You're Concerned About Employment Gaps
If You're Concerned About Job-Hopping
What About a Functional Resume?
Many hiring professionals say they prefer chronological resumes to functional resumes. They are often suspicious of functional resumes, which are usually used to hide something. Select a functional format only if you have an extremely poor work background with extended gaps or a terrible history of job-hopping. Some job seekers try to hide their spotty work histories by submitting a resume cover letter in lieu of a resume. This type of letter covers the key points of a resume in narrative format, but skips over any sketchy parts of the work history. This approach is normally not recommended, because ultimately employers will be looking for the resume.
Accentuate the Positive
There's nothing you can do to change your work experience, so the best strategy is to develop a forward-looking resume that shows the value you offer potential employers. If you are sticking with a chronological resume format, lead with a Qualifications Summary, a narrative profile summing up your key qualifications for the position. This will draw attention to your strengths.
Layoffs and Downsizing: Quick Tips to Improve Your Resume