Follow Tim Tebow’s lead when trying to beat the job gap

By Joe Szynkowski |

The No. 1 question I get from resume clients is: “How do I overcome a big gap in employment?” This is a tough one because there are so many life circumstances that prompt work history instability.

Maybe you decided to stay home with the kids until they started school. Maybe you became a world traveler and spent the past two years nomadically checking countries off your must-see list. Then again, maybe you were fired.

Take Tim Tebow, for example. The former college star and much maligned NFL pro recently signed a comeback contract with the Philadelphia Eagles. The last time Tebow threw a touchdown pass, he was beating my Steelers in an AFC wild-card game on Jan. 8, 2012.

I still remember falling to the floor after that throw. Thanks, Tim.

Tebow was soon traded to the Jets, cut by the Jets and then cut by the Patriots in 2013 – seemingly putting an end to Tebowmania.

But it’s what Tebow has done in the past two years that can be a lesson to job-seekers everywhere. The proof is in his new one-year deal with the Eagles.

He Worked

We all handle adversity differently, but Tebow should be a role model to us all. What did he do when the Patriots became the latest team to refuse him a roster spot?

He went to work.

Tebow signed a multiyear deal to join ESPN as an analyst for the SEC Network in 2013.

Here, his statement when he signed the deal:

“When I was 6 years old, I fell in love with the game of football, and while I continue to pursue my dream of playing quarterback in the NFL, this is an amazing opportunity to be part of the unparalleled passion of college football and the SEC.”

Tebow was articulate in his ESPN post, offering unique insights on the college football conference he dominated during his time as a Heisman Trophy winner on the Florida Gators. And just like in Gainesville, he put everything he had into his analyst role.

Job-seekers, you should do the same. If you’re unexpectedly let go from your corporate accounting job, start a one-person consulting corporation to stay current in the industry. Offer your services to a nonprofit that could use your financial acumen.

Sometimes, being backed into the unemployment corner makes us hungrier and more passionate about our craft. Stay involved, whatever you do.

He Honed His Craft

Along with staying close to the game through his analyst role, Tebow continuously planted bugs in the ears of people wondering if he still had NFL blood in his veins. He did so without bellyaching to the media. He did so with class.

Tebow teamed with former Major League pitcher Tom House to improve his throwing technique. House recently told The Sports Show, “He’s probably had 10,000 reps. He’s been working out with us on a regular basis for a couple of years.”

Lesson: If you’re in a career gap, work on your skills. Take some professional development trainings or learn a new software at your local community college. These extra efforts not only look great on your resume but will prove to prospective employers that you are serious about getting back in the game.

Overcoming the job gap is not impossible. Especially if you take the Tebow approach.

Joe Szynkowski has written 1,000+ resumes for happy clients across the world and looks forward to adding you to his list. Find him at or @JoeSzynkowski on Twitter.


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