List The Reason For Longer Employment Gaps As Its Own Job
You will usually need to address longer periods of gaps in employment more directly in your resume than you need to with small employment gaps. If you have an employment gap that was more than a period of one year, then this gap will still be obvious on your resume even when only listing the years or when using a functional resume format.
You can overcome this by including what you were doing during your employment gap in your experience section as if it were a job itself. However, you can keep the entry brief so it doesn’t distract the person reviewing your resume from more relevant experience. For example, if you spent four years as a stay-at-home parent until your child was ready for pre-school, then you can include this time in your experience section like this:
Full-time parent, Atlanta, GA, 2008 – 2011
Took time away from professional career to raise young children and manage the household
Ways To Fill A Resume Gap After You Return Home From Traveling
Among the many reasons why people are hesitant to go overseas for a year, difficulty in finding a new job upon return is on the top of the list for most. While taking time off helps prevent burnout, inspire new ideas, and keep us learning and growing, post-travel blues are met with fear of a dreaded “resume gap.”
No need to fear — there is hope! People take sabbaticals and return to work all the time, it is just a matter of learning to effectively fill your resume gap after traveling. Here are five ways to upgrade your resume content and professionally share your travel story without seeming like a flight risk.
How To Explain Resume Gaps Due To Caring For Your Family
Many people take time out of their career to take care of a relative or raise their children, so there is no need to cover this up.
However, you should mention that your children are now in full-time education or childcare, or that you no longer have full-time care commitments and ready to return to your career.
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You Know How To Explain Gaps In Employment Now Let’s Get You Hired
The interview is your best chance to demonstrate the value you bring to the company. Need some help? Monster will send you free interview insights, career advice, and job search tips sent directly to your inbox. We’ll help you create a job search strategy that will help you land an awesome new position.
How To Fill An Employment Gap On Your Resume
How can job candidates especially those who are unemployed right now address potential resume gaps and avoid them in the future?
- Try this exercise to get you started: Write down every project youve spent time on in between the roles currently listed on your resume or since youve been unemployed.
- Now, look at the descriptions of the jobs youre interested in applying to and see if you can make any connections between your list and what the hiring managers are looking for.
- Ask yourself, Have I gained any skills that align with the job requirements?
- Your goal is to reframe your experiences in a way that will help employers draw a connection between the role they are trying to fill and the skills you can offer.
Where your work meets your life. See more from Ascend here.
There was once a time when people were expected to slowly climb the corporate ladder, work for one employer that paid for their insurance, and stack up a neat series of consecutive job titles on their resume. This narrative, however, is no longer realistic. A predictable, linear career path is now the exception, not the norm.
Today the job market shifts at an incredible pace. Rapid innovation means that new industries are created every year industries that require nimble job candidates who can learn quickly, adapt, and cater their experience to new roles as they become prevalent.
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Moving On From Employment Gaps
No matter what types of gaps in your resume you may be dealing with, guidance from an expert career coach can be extremely helpful in getting you ready to apply to your next job.
FlexJobs members receive exclusive access to our career coaching and resume review services at a discounted ratealong with fully vetted and verified remote and flexible jobs in more than 50 career categories. Tour our robust career platform today!
Fill Current Gaps On Your Resume
Lots of job candidates assume that hiring managers favor people who have held several long-term roles. But this is not entirely true. Employers often look for applicants who can illustrate their problem-solving skills and tell stories that prove their capacity to get things done. You can showcase these skills whether or not they are tied to a long-term, 9-to-5 job. To them, your abilities are not limited to the tasks you performed in a role. If presented correctly, you can showcase your experience as a combination of those tasks, as well as initiatives you have participated in and learned from outside of your primary job.
That said, theres a good chance youre omitting projects or stints from your resume that could boost your job search and fill in some gaps. Maybe you took part in a startup competition during school or helped a friend create a social media campaign for their new Etsy store. If you did something interesting in between jobs, something thats helping you develop new skills, include it.
Try this exercise to get you started: Write down every project youve spent time on in between the roles currently listed on your resume, or since youve been unemployed. Now, look at the descriptions of the jobs youre interested in applying to and see if you can make any connections between your list and what the hiring managers are looking for. Ask yourself, Have I gained any skills that align with the job requirements?
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Explaining The Gap During Your Interview
You have explained your employment gap on your resume and in your cover letter, but you may encounter it again during the interview. The key here is to rehearse what you will say beforehand. Address the issue in a forthcoming manner, omitting any negative thoughts about the gap. If you were let go due to performance issues, dont disparage your former employer. If you were let go due to an involuntary reason like a budget cut or global pandemic, focus heavily on your stellar performance before the job loss.
Many people lost their jobs during the Covid-19 pandemic, and this can create a gap in employment. Most employers will be sensitive to this and often forgive the gap if it were due to a Covid-19 job loss. Be sure to explain this to your potential employer.
If you intentionally took time off from your careerperhaps to care for an elderly relative or for childrensimply mention this and continue with the interview. Do, however, make it clear that you are ready and eager to return to work. If you took time off to continue your education, show that your coursework is complete. If you took a sabbatical and traveled the world for a year, make it clear that the sojourn is over and that you are ready to move forward in your career and remain in one position for the long haul.
How To Deal With Employment Gaps On Resume
13 min read
Our clients often ask us how to deal with a gap on a resume. Strategic job seekers want to know how to fill employment gaps, or if unemployment gaps will look bad to recruiters. Many people have employment gaps of 6 months or less, while others have been out of the workplace for years.
The truth is, very few people have a perfect, linear career history. In this article, we will discuss how to best handle each situation that led to gaps in employment. We also have resume samples with gaps in employment. By the end of this article, you will know how to fill in employment gaps on your resume.
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Address A Career Break Directly
If you have a single, easy to explain gap in your resume, the best strategy is just to explain it. Your cover letter is a good place for this. You dont need to spend a whole paragraph justifying it a sentence or two is usually enough.
You can also list a career break in your resume like this in your work experience. This allows you to go into a little more details about what you did during the hiatus, which is ideal if youve achieved something during this time that youd like to highlight. This should usually only be done if you’re currently on a gap.
Appropriate accomplishments could include freelance projects, online courses, or volunteer work. List these the same way you would your regular word experience, by using quantifiable, action-based bullet points. Make sure to include keywords, too anything thats relevant to the job youre applying for can help you get through the initial screening step.
Using Cover Letters To Explain Gaps In Employment
Your resume is a good place to start, but a cover letter has much more real estate for you to explain your gaps in employment. While employment gaps should definitely be mentioned, avoid your explanation taking over your entire cover letter, instead of focusing on your selling points and positive attributes.
When explaining your employment gaps, be honest, direct, and professional. If you took time off to raise your children, say it, but make sure to include what skills you practiced while doing so.
Put a positive spin on your employment gaps by explaining why your experience makes you an even stronger candidate than you were before. For example, if you were burnt out from a hectic career, make sure you explain how your time off revitalized your mind and made you more eager than ever to give your career 150%.
You should also think back to earlier in this article when we discussed the reasons why employers care about career gaps. Your cover letter is the perfect place to convince a hiring manager that your skills are still sharp, that you are up-to-date with your industry trends, and that you are anything but unmotivated and lazy.
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Note: These Tips And Sample Explanations Will Also Work On Job Applications
Sometimes a job application will say, please explain any gaps in employment.
The advice resume advice above also work for job applications. Follow the same rules, be clear and upfront, and youll be fine when applying for jobs.
The one adjustment Id recommend making on job applications : Be clear and direct, but dont give too much information. The only goal of your job application is to get you into the interview.
If theyre concerned about employment gaps, they can ask more in the interview. And thats where you should be very honest/open and explain things further. Thats where you can gauge their reactions, decide how much to share based on their responses, etc. You cant do this in a written explanation.
So, by writing too much info on a job application, you might do more harm than good. Its better to discuss this type of thing in person, so limit your explanation to 1-2 sentences for each gap in employment on your job applications, cover letters, etc.
Final Thoughts On Career Gaps
Remember, whatever your career break entailed, its all relative.
A few months out a couple of years ago will probably be ok. However, if youre talking years out of employment, then planning is key.
Its not unusual to have a gap in your employment history and itll only stand out if you dont explain it. The main thing employers want is for you to demonstrate your enthusiasm and readiness to re-enter the workforce.
Finally, confidence and honesty are desirable qualities for any interviewee. Approaching the situation with the right degree of both will speak volumes about your personality.
So be honest and always attempt to address the issue early, allowing the recruiter to concentrate on the rest of your CV. That way, youll have nothing to worry about.
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Employer Concern #: Out Of Touch With The Industry
If you have been unemployed, especially for a significant period of time, hiring employers may be afraid that you are not up-to-date with your trade or industry.
Being out of touch with an industry is more concerning when the industry changes quickly.
However, unemployment can raise concerns for any job that requires knowledge of fast-changing technology, processes, trends, or methodologies.
Popular fast-moving industries include SAAS , IT , Pharmaceuticals, Finance & Investing, and Technology .
How To Explain Gaps In Your Resume
There are many reasons that someone may take time off from work for an extended period of time. In some instances, people take off to care for relativeselderly parents, children or siblings. In other cases, they leave one job without having another lined up. Still others take time off for long-term travel, to study or just for a mental health break. Recruiters and hiring managers are human and they understand that people have very valid reasons for taking time away from work, but they also want to hire someone that they are sure will stay in the position for the long haul.
Employment gaps can reflect poorly on the applicant. To a recruiter, they may suggest someone who doesnt stay in a job for a long time and simply quits without reason. Gaps may indicate that someone has been let go from their position. Gaps can also indicate that a person is not satisfied with their current career path and may soon look to change careers. No matter what the reason for your break in employment, it is important that you be prepared to address it and put your potential employer at ease.
How to Address an Employment Gap on Your Resume:
- Make good use of your time away
- Omit the gap
- Use a different resume layout
- Omit the month for smaller gaps
- Explain the gap
- Strengthen your resume and cover letters with addendums
- Explaining your employment gap in your cover letter
- Explaining the gap during your interview
- Be the ideal candidate
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Worried About Those Gaps In Your Employment History Here Are Some Strategies To Put A Better Spin On Your Resume
Resume Dilemma: Employment Gaps and Job-Hopping
In today’s economy, you need to carefully present your experience to avoid being seen as unreliable. Start by evaluating your situation and determining how bad it really is. The coronavirus pandemic has upended our economy, so employers will absolutely understand if you’ve been affected. Meanwhile, if you are panicking about two months of unemployment back in 2008, you’re probably fine.
In fact, attitudes are changing among U.S. employers. According to the Monster Future of Work: 2021 Outlook survey, 49% of respondents said that resume gaps are becoming less of a red flag as a result of current market conditions, and 47% said the same about job hopping. However, if you are dealing with recent periods of unemployment extending for several years, you will need to start strategizing.
How To Explain The Gap In Your Resume With Ease
When I was laid off in January, in addition to the usual concerns, like How quickly will I find a new job? and How will we pay the mortgage? I also worried about having yet another employment gap on my resume.
Because Id taken a timeout from my career to raise my children, I already had a Grand Canyon-sized gaping hole on my CV. I feared that with this layoff, employers would think I was taking more breaks than an aging rock band.
According to the U.S. Department of Labors April statistics, 9.8 million Americans are unemployed, so I know I cant be the only one wondering how to downplay my downtime and play up my skills.
Curious about how to best address my widening gap, I turned to a pair of experts for some much-needed advice. Heres what they said.
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How To Explain Career Gaps In Your Resume
Do you have a chunk of time in your resume when you werent working? Have you thought about fudging the dates between jobs to cover the gaps?
Having time out of work can happen for a number of important reasons. Sometimes its hard to know how to explain it, though, especially when youre trying to impress a potential employer.
Here are some tips to help you explain career gaps in your resume.
Why Employers Care About Resum Gaps
When reviewing resumés and job applications, potential employers and human resources representatives look for applicable skills, relevant experience, and often, unexplained gaps in employment history.
The reason for this is multi-faceted. A hole in your resumé can mean a number of thingsthat you have purposely left work history off of your resumé in an attempt to hide something, that you unexpectedly lost your job and had difficulty finding a new one, that you voluntarily left your job without having a new position lined up, that you were in prison or otherwise unable to workand all of these could signal to potential employers that you might be a risky hire.
One prominent risk is that the company might spend valuable resources, time, and energy interviewing, hiring, onboarding, and training you, only to see you leave soon after. Whats more, the Society for Human Resources Management reports that the cost of an employee departure can be as high as one-third of that employees annual salary, often allocated as:
- 67 percent to cover soft costs: Reduced productivity, interview time, institutional brain drain, etc.
- 33 percent to cover hard costs: Recruiting, background checks, drug screenings, the hiring of temp workers, etc.
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