There Are Legitimate Gaps
In today’s world having the best resume you can is essential. Life happens and sometimes you encounter employment gaps in your resume. If you don’t know how to handle these gaps they can severely hurt your ability to find a new job. In this article we are going to teach you how to handle these gaps like a professional and come out looking better in the end.
Do you have a legitimate reason for having a gap in your resume? There are many different reasons that you could have a gap in your resume that can be easily explained in a way that a potential employer would completely understand. The most important thing to do about gaps in your resume is to have an explanation that you can give to a potential future employer.
If you are out of work for a while it is important that you spend that time doing something productive. Doing volunteer work is a great way to handle time away from being employed. You can actually list volunteer work on your resume and cite it as a core value of yours that you help others out. If you are out of work and not volunteering, start now.
EMPLOYERS WILL UNDERSTAND
One reason people cannot relocate today is because they are care providers for family members. If you were providing care for a family member and you needed to leave your full time job to do so, this is a perfectly valid reason. Many people want to shy away from saying that they were taking care of a family member. Employers understand these issues arise. Be sure to stress that now you are out of the role of caregiver and do not foresee needing to take up that role again any time in the future. They want to know that you are now available.
Another good reason for having an employment gap in your resume is that you did not believe in doing a job search while working. Explain that your ethics dictated that you focus all of your time working on the job you had so when it came time to leave it was also time to start looking for a job.
Continuing your education is never a bad thing, it shows employers that you want to better yourself and fulfill your role to the best of your ability. When it comes to going back to school though, most people need to leave their job in order to focus all of the time and energy on their education. Make sure to list going back to school on your resume and explain to employers that you were looking to better yourself by going back to school.
PACK YOUR BAGS!
Yet another one of the major reasons for having an employment gap in your resume is spending time traveling. Like education, traveling can actually be a big benefit if you are looking for certain jobs. Spending time traveling shows that you have experience with other cultures. Jobs that require you to interact with different cultures or travel will look upon time spent traveling as a benefit. Make sure to explain that you were spending time traveling during your interview and, if relevant, mention it in your cover letter.
Many people include consulting projects as different jobs on their resumes. Instead of this, list consulting as only ONE job on your resume. Put the time you were consulting as one period and then in points under that job put the different consulting contracts you worked. If you list each consulting project as a different job it makes employers think you are just bouncing around between jobs. Remember they are usually just glancing at resumes before actually reading them.
Having an employment gap in your resume can be a red flag during the hiring process. Prepare to discuss the reasons before the interview or make sure your resume reflects the reasons you were without a job (consulting, education, volunteer work). Having a gap on your resume doesn’t have to kill you. Just make sure that you can prove that you have done something productive during that gap.