Remember when you were a teenager, and you were convinced everyone around you was staring at every single imperfection you possessed? Fortunately, as we get older we realize most people really aren't that concerned with what we're doing. However, I often encounter job seekers who seem a little stuck in the mentality of Everyone is looking at me!
Few things in life are absolutely perfect, and most people don't have a perfect resume. We work with many clients who have employment gaps, career changes, a series of short-lived jobs, and many other challenges. What they also have is great experience, a dedicated work ethic, and a desire to succeed. Which of these things do you think employers care about more?
There are some career obstacles that are insurmountable. For instance, you can't go work as a lawyer if you have a nursing degree. You won't be hired as CEO if you've only got two years of work experience on your resume. But many of the issues that job seekers see with their own resumes aren't that important to the people reading them. Hiring managers really do understand if you took time off to care for your children or ailing parents, especially if you kept up your professional certifications or have gone back to work since that time. They also understand sometimes you take a job with a company that goes out of business less than a year later, leaving you without work.
As you search for a job, your ultimate task is to market one product-yourself! Just like your parents advised when you were a teenager, it's time to stop obsessing over your imperfections and focus on all the positive attributes you can offer an employer. If you want the person hiring you to focus on what you can do, you need to focus their attention on the positive by remaining focused on it yourself. When it comes to professional imperfections, it's best to realize them, acknowledge them, and then move on.