With the economy changing in recent years, it isn’t uncommon for there to be prolonged periods of unemployment; however, this is something that still causes some concern. Here we’ll share three top tips in how to make your resume work for you when you have resume gaps.
Change The Timeframe
If the gap in employment is a matter of months rather than years, change the dates that you state to years as this will hide the gap. You aren’t lying and if it helps you to get through to an interview, you can then explain the gap in person rather than hoping that they don’t see it or mind it if you include months.
Include Voluntary Work
Employers look for experience, skills and hard work so if they see a gap, it may put them off hiring you. However, you might still be gaining experience and skills from an unpaid or voluntary role and this is something that should be on your resume. Maybe you had a child and did bits of work here and there for the day-care or for the PTA of the school; this should be included in your resume as it shows that you were active and gained valuable skills. List any unpaid, voluntary and freelance work under your work history as regular positions and describe them the same way as the rest of your work history.
Let’s say that you are a graphic designer and during your time out of work, you helped a friend to brand their new business, this will be impressive to prospective employers. ‘Work’ doesn’t necessarily come with a salary; employers will look for all types of skills and experience.
Explain The Gap
Sometimes, the best solution is to simply explain why the gap occurred. For example, maybe you went back to school for a couple of years or took some time out to raise children; in this scenario, you should explain exactly what happened so they know that you were doing something important with your time.
Write about the gap on both your resume and cover letter. On your cover letter you could say ‘Keen on transitioning back in to the workforce after taking time off to raise a family.’ or if you took a break to study you could say ‘Took a career break to study full time for [degree] in [program]’
Address the gap in the work history section of your resume in few lines. Mention if you did volunteer, non-profit or other work and add accomplishments achieved. You can also list how you upkept with your industry.
A gap of more than a year can be worrying for employers when looking through resumes and so honesty is often the best policy. They will understand if you took time out to raise children, they will understand if you wanted to go back into college, they would be less understanding if you do not address the gap as it looks like you weren’t doing anything at all.
Although perceptions of gaps in the resume have changed, it can still have an effect on whether a company will hire you or someone else. Using one of these 3 tips will help you to address the gap and make you a good candidate for any job.
Make the process less intimidating and get a resume template that has all the margins and layouts already in place. Templates are also great for organizing the information flow and with all the sections formatted right into the resume template, you can decide section by section if you want that information on your resume or not. If it doesn’t apply to you, then just delete it.
Resume template lets you concentrate on the most important which is your content.