You got laid off a while back and you're starting to squirm a bit about how that growing gap will look on your resume. So what do you do? Why, of course... you become a CONSULTANT. In fact, you don't just become one on that particular day. You decide that you have, in fact, been one since the moment your last boss said, "I'm so very sorry. Here's a cardboard box.'
After all, doesn't dropping the kids off at soccer and cleaning out the gutters require a consultant's eye and approach? Doesn't commiserating with friends over a three-martini lunch count as a consultation of sorts? Organizing the garage? Watching bad reality TV?
Answer: no. Unfortunately, it doesn't. Worse news for those contemplating this little-white-lie resume route?
Most of us recruiters and hiring managers assume you're telling, at best, a half truth when you list your current employer as something like: "Jack Taylor Consulting" or "Jack Taylor Group" (this, of course, assumes your name is Jack Taylor).
You see, particularly since the sharp downturn in the economy in recent years? The "Check it out! I'm a consultant now" trick has become one of the most prevalent, overused tricks in the book.
So don't do it. It's unoriginal, won't help your efforts, and should make you feel just a little shady.
Don't do it...UNLESS, you want to actually consider consulting or freelancing while you also search for a new corporate opportunity.
This, I do recommend. Strongly. Consulting within your chosen field keeps your skills sharp, your face at the forefront of your industry,and your wallet from going bone dry. You also may decide you like consulting so much, that you ultimately drop the corporate job search entirely. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Here's my best advice if you do go the "consultant" route:
Give your enterprise an actual, corporate sounding name. One that doesn't include YOUR NAME. Not because you don't have a great one, it's just become synonomous with "liar" when you do. I'd also go so far as to actually setting up a DBA or, if you want to really dig in, an LLC. Create a basic website (GoDaddy makes it nearly impossible to screw up setting up a simple website), order some inexpensive cards and letterhead (vistaprint.com is usually just about as cheap as they come) and VOILA.
You are a bona fide consultant.
And, even if you now choose to consider watching back episodes of "Married With Children" your core business (shame on you)? You look way, way more legit.