I was volunteer career coaching with individuals who were residing in a shelter in Calgary. One of the men had a gap between employment. In our safe space, I asked why. He said that was when he was incarcerated. I suggested that he address this gap on the resume vs saying nothing.
*Important – if you do not address the obvious and control the narrative, your resume may not make it past screening.
“Why not say you were dealing with a family emergency?” I say.
“Can I really?”
“Was it not a serious family situation when you were in jail?” I ask.
“It sure was!”
“Then say you were ‘dealing with a family emergency.’ You only need to disclose your incarceration to employers who require a police check. Or if you are asked point-blank if you have a criminal record, then you must faithfully answer.”
Wow, could I ever see the relief wash over him and he felt hope!
Was I encouraging him to lie? Not at all. I was giving him permission to put his very best on his resume. To not take himself out of the running because someone made an assumption.
This man had great experience in trades and was a very handy guy. He was an excellent problem solving and his innovation was sky-high. That sells, that is what employers want to see.
What I did was have this gentleman see his value which gave him the confidence boost to focus on his strengths during an interview. Life can be hard. Gift yourself permission to always put the best YOU forward and time to put the past to rest.
Keep being awesome :).