Career E-News: May 2012 

Monthly Newsletter for Executives, Managers, and Professionals in Career Transition / Written and Published by Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin, The Career Success Coach

In this issue:
Coming soon: Beta Launch of Online Self-Study Version of Career Coaching Program
Got Gaps in Your Work History? Don't Despair!
Career Action Planning (CAP) Session
Quote of the Month: On "Possibilities"
Client Landings
Applause - Clapping
Congratulations to Nancy Lipinski, who was recently hired as an  Administrative Assistant at Honeywell Analytics, located in Lincolnshire, Illinois.
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Greetings!                              Joellyn Headshot 2009 

I always enjoy the month of May and springtime...especially the colorful rainbow of flowers blooming in our garden, including red tulips, purple and white lilacs, pink peonies-- and giant orange poppies which will coming up soon. Thankfully, we've had a nice balance of sun-shiny days and rain here in Worcester, after a period of drought.


The U.S. Labor Market recovery continues. March job figures were revised up to 154,000 but only 115,000 jobs were added in April. Even so, 3.74 million job openings were posted in March...the highest number in four years. According to a recent Associated Press article: "The increase in U.S. job openings suggests that weaker hiring gains in March and April could be temporary."  


I'm really excited about the upcoming Beta Launch of my latest offering: an online, self-study version of my signature, 8-module career coaching program. What prompted me to create this program is my desire to give more people access to this material, as an affordable alternative to coaching privately with me. Please scroll down for details!


If you have gaps in your work history -- for personal or economic reasons -- you're not alone. Because so many events have impacted the U.S. labor market, gaps in work histories are commonplace with more jobseekers than ever before. The good news is that you don't need to feel apologetic about gaps or worry that they'll be viewed negatively by hiring managers. My article: "Got Gaps in Your Work History? Don't Despair!" will give you strategies for handling gaps to help you confidently move forward in your search.


Is your job search stuck and your career stalled? Spring into action with a Career Action Planning (CAP) Session which will get to the root of your career problem and get you on the road to landing your dream job in record time!  Be sure to read the testimonial of one client who landed soon after his CAP Session.  

Enjoy this issue and I look forward to connecting soon! 


~ Joellyn
BETABeta Launch of Online, Self-Study Career Coaching Program is Coming Soon! 


I'm excited to announce that I'm planning a beta launch of an online, self-study version of my 8-module career coaching program, entitled: "Wake Up to a Job You Love." This version will include core content from the materials I use with my private clients as well as monthly Q & A group calls and a forum for participants to post questions to me and have an opportunity interact with each other. 


This beta launch, which will happen in September or October 2012, is designed for only 10 participants. It will also be priced at a fraction of the cost to work with me privately, as well as deeply discounted from the fully-launched version.


I expect this program to fill up quickly and consideration will be given on a first-come, first-served basis. If you are interested in taking advantage of this offer, please send an email to:, with "Beta Launch" in the memo and I'll send you an application.

GAPS Got Gaps in your Work History?  Don't Despair! 


Employment at one company until retirement has become the exception in the US, rather than the rule. With the evolution of a global labor market, the 9/11 crisis, and the 2008 economic meltdown followed by "The Great Recession", "job security" has literally disappeared. These trends have also led many companies to cut their workforce, leaving downsized workers with gaps in their employment history and/or long periods of unemployment. 


Gaps in work history can occur for other situations besides the economy, such as family/maternity leave, caring for an ill relative or returning to school full-time. Whatever the reasons might be, the challenge for jobseekers is how to skillfully handle these gaps on resumes, social media profiles and in conversations with hiring managers, without jeopardizing their candidacy.


Given today's economy, hiring managers are usually more accepting of gaps than in previous years. Even so, it's wise to show them that you haven't been idle during a period of unemployment. You want to confidently answer the questions: "Why did you leave your last employer?" or "What were you/have you been doing between Job A and Job B?" 


Start by filling in the gaps on your resume and on social media profiles with temporary or contract work, survival jobs or volunteer assignments. Here are examples from my client case studies: 

  • Educational Programs:  An unemployed business analyst returned to school full time for a certificate in data warehousing. She moved the "Education" section to the first page of her resume, then listed the name of her school, the program she was enrolled in, the core curriculum and expected graduation date.
  • Caregiver: Several clients who have been primary caregivers for loved ones have listed this as an actual job on their resumes. To properly serve in this capacity, they had to resign from their full-time jobs.
  • Contract/Temp Work: A laid-off accountant registered with several contract/temp firms. Because one agency kept him busy, he listed it on his resume as his current employer and wrote key bullet points about what he accomplished for each client company.
  • Survival Jobs: A downsized marketing exec took a job in retail to bring in money while searching for another marketing position. He created an "Other Employment" section on his resume, and listed the retail position there.
  • Volunteer Work: One client handled a major campaign for a high-profile foundation as a volunteer and listed that as her current status on LinkedIn.
  • Workforce Re-entry: One woman had a nine-year gap when she took time off of work to raise a family. She inserted "Resigned to start a family" as one of the bullet points in her last job; then she listed the volunteer/leadership activities she was involved in while being a stay-at-home mom.   

On LinkedIn, you can even set your current status to: "In Transition;" then include a few sentences to explain that you are actively engaged in job search.


For interviews, prepare scripts to back up your gaps. Your scripts should be short, matter-of-fact and close-ended, e.g., "I was downsized because my company closed down the department I worked in." <period> Then, redirect the interview about why you are perfect for this job.


Gaps in work history are part of life. When you have a strategy in place for handling them, you'll overcome a major hurdle in confidently marketing yourself for the job you want.


Like this article? Please post your comments on my blog.


2012 Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin, The Career Success Coach. All Rights Reserved  


CAPCareer Action Planning (CAP) Session 
  • question mark jpegDo you work hard on your job search but seem to get nowhere fast?
  • Are you burned out with your job, but don't know what other work might satisfy you?  
  • Do you have trouble understanding how your transferrable skills can be used in other professions?
  • Do you apply for jobs online, only to get "thanks but no thanks" responses?
  • Does it seem like your network can't help you with your job search the way you'd like?
  • Do you get interviews--- but no offers?   

Is it time to take a risk -- a giant step forward -- to end the pain once and for all? You may surprised: the problem might not be what you think and simpler to overcome than you thought possible.


Regardless of the issues you face or what you may be frustrated or confused about, I can provide the clarity, creative thinking, objectivity, and perspective you need to get your career and job search moving in the right direction.  


Let's get started with a Career Action Planning (CAP) Session to help you figure out what's working, what needs attention, and what the next steps are to land the job of your dreams!  


LOUSkeptical? Here's what one client said about his experience. He got hired five months after his CAP Session!  


"I worked with Joellyn and went through her Career Action Planning session after months and months spinning my wheels trying to land a position. Her session and follow ups were a great jump start for me in redesigning my resume. She helped me focus on what my strengths were and was encouraging and genuine. She's extremely personable and is a great listener. I'd recommend her to anyone who is struggling finding their next steps in their career path."  -- Louis Miano, Sr. Software Developer 


 Go to my website for details and pricing:  

About "The Career Success Coach" 


Joellyn Wittenstein Schwerdlin is a Certified Career Management Coach in private practice serving executives, managers and professionals in career transition. Since 1991, Joellyn has helped countless clients across multiple industry sectors find perfect career paths which are fun, fulfilling and financially-rewarding. Her  program starts with a Career Action Planning (CAP) Session to first determine where clients are getting stuck, stalled or confused in landing the job of their dreams.  


Joellyn will be happy to discuss your situation on a free call. Contact her at 508-459-2854, 

or visit

Quote of the Month: On "Possibilities"


"When you have exhausted all possibilities,

remember this: you haven't."

-- Thomas Edison


 2012 The Career Success Coach

 All rights reserved.