Resume advice needed

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tmf1977 in White Plains, New York

47 months ago

Hello All -

I was downsized in late 2008 and I am looking for some advice in how to re-vamp my resume in softening my gap.

This year, I had worked at two short term temp assignments (lasted two months each). The assignments basically assisted staff in catching up with work due to another staff member being on medical leave. I also recently started to work as a volunteer for a non-profit legal services organization (mostly helping the Development Director). I am also returning to school in September in re-taking some legal classes. The courses are taught through a local community college and the program is approved by the ABA. I figure since the job search is not going to plan, re-freshing my research and legal writing skills as well as taking courses in eDiscovery and Personal Injury/Malpractice would help.

I'm a little perplexed in how to go about explaining my gap on my resume. Unfortunately, 2009 was a wash due to health and family circumstances. I have been able to find some work, but I feel a little embarrassed that I only held two short term assignments in which both positions are unrelated to litigation and insurance law. Should I emphasize on course work and my volunteer experience instead? Prior to my layoff, I had a very stable work record of nearly 15 years in the legal field working as a paralegal for two major insurance companies.

One other issue: my last job (the one I was downsized from) removed me from the insurance industry. I would like to re-market myself in insurance (which most of my paralegal experience is from).

Thank you in advance.

~TMF

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tmf1977 in White Plains, New York

47 months ago

Thank you so much for the quick response!

I had thought about removing my first para job from my resume, however that job spanned nearly six years (ended in 2001) and I have a reference. (That job also gave me great experience and is in the insurance industry.) My second insurance job I basically assisted on the regulatory end of things. Unfortunately the insurance company I had worked for (which was covered extensively in the news) had underwent many changes and I lost contact with the attorney I had worked closely with. Unfortunately, I do not have a reference from that position. Pretty much everyone I had worked with has since left and moved on.

My last job I had I can obtain a reference from and I still keep in contact with my managing attorney which I have worked for that company for two years. My problem is that last job really reduced me in handling administrative tasks and some light contract administration. I was actually planning to leave the company as there was writing was on the wall for months that it hit the financial skids, however I was downsized before I was able to leave on my own accord.

I should mention in 2009 I did receive two offers, but both companies had hiring freezes and the positions did not go forward.

Thanks again!

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