Dear Lifehacker, Earlier in the year I did 14 weeks of jury duty. Now I’m looking for a job, I have a huge gap in my employment history. Should I mention this on my resume to help clarify the reason for the gap? Thanks, Time Served
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Congratulations on performing jury duty — it’s a task many people try to avoid, but our justice system does depend in part on people serving on juries. However, as you’ve observed, it can create an unusual gap on your resume.
One of our most consistent pieces of advice regarding resumes is to keep them brief (ideally under a page). As such, highlighting the fact that you’ve performed jury duty isn’t necessary. If an employer asks about the gap, by all means mention that jury duty was the reason for the absence. However, since a good resume doesn’t have to include every minor job you’ve ever had, the “jury duty gap” isn’t deserving of space on there either.
If your work experience is relatively limited and you’re worried about the jury duty period sticking out and meaning you don’t even get to the interview stage, you could consider adding a short note to that effect. However, I’d only do that if you’ve applied for a lot of jobs and don’t feel you’re getting noticed. Applying for jobs requires consistency, dedication and fine-tuning and customising your application for each position. Those are much more important steps than worrying about a brief period where you weren’t working, especially as you were performing a civic service at the time.
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