Hi Huttle,

I am a Mechanical Engineering major with 4.5 years experience in software development and IT.
I have also completed my MSE in mechanical engineering from University of Michigan Ann Arbor.
I have tried for Product Development roles in mechanical engineering but could land only a IT support role for 2.5 years.I have tried to shift to Product role but the assignment lasted only 6 months until January 2015 where I quit as it wasn't a good fit  and was changed considerably than what I was interviewed for.Since January 2015 I have been giving interviews but couldn't convert them into offers. I had to change my visa status and keep looking for opportunities.
Lot of companies have asked me what did I ship despite me being a contractor with limited scope and data access in a big organization.

How do I explain my resume gaps in between job search?
How to keep abreast of ones field and keep practicing in between jobs to keep uptodate on skills?

Thank You