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How To List Unemployment On Resume

How Do I Write About Me On A Resume

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Positive words to describe yourselfAble. I am able to handle multiple tasks on a daily basis.Creative. I use a creative approach to problem solve.Dependable. I am a dependable person who is great at time management.Energetic. I am always energetic and eager to learn new skills.Experience. Flexible. Hardworking. Honest.

How To Account For A Gap Caused By Covid

Gaps in a résumé once were a red flag for employers, and job candidates have always been advised to have a solid reason for a period of unemployment. But with unemployment rates reaching an all-time high earlier this year due to the pandemic, chances are you may have had a job gap, too. Should you shrug it off? Or do you need to explain the gap on your résumé?

We tend to think of long-term gaps in employment as a negative on our résumé, but with millions of people out of work, gaps are going to be more common, says Sasha Yablonovsky, president of CareerBuilder. Recruiters are aware of this, and theyll be looking for job seekers to capture their meaningfulif alternativeexperience and skill development with a focus on adaptability and skills that transfer across industries.

Hiring managers will likely be empathetic to the situation because their own organizations had to manage the seismic shift COVID-19 delivered, says Christy Pambianchi, executive vice president and chief human resources officer for Verizon. With millions out of work, the impact of the pandemic on the job market will be felt for years to come, she says. This is simply our new reality and it has required us to dial-up our humanity.

If youve had a gap in employment due to a layoff or furlough, the experts say you should approach it this way:

Try To Disguise Small Gaps By Omitting The Month

Next, if the gaps in your employment history are only small gaps that occurred in-between jobs you can disguise these gaps by omitting the month from the date of each experience. Instead, simply list the years you were employed in each position. However, this method of disguising gaps in employment on your resume usually only works well if the length of the gaps you are trying to disguise are less than a year in length and you worked in each position for a period of more than one year.

For example, if you were employed in one position from August 2015 thru January 2017 and didn’t begin your next job until August 2017, you can disguise this employment gap by listing the dates of your first job as 2015 – 2017 and the dates of your next job as 2017 – Present. However, while this can help you make it through the initial consideration round with your resume, you will likely still be asked about specific dates during an interview, so be prepared to explain the reason for your gap in a positive manner.

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How To Explain An Employment Gap On Your Resume

Many of us take time off, for one reason or another, from working. Sometimes, it’s by choicemaybe you were raising a child, traveling, taking care of a sick relative, or went back to school. In other cases, your time off from work may occur because you were laid off or fired and it took time to find a new job.

What is the best way to explain an employment gap on your resume and during a job interview? It depends on the situation and what you did while you weren’t employed.

Spend Your Time Unemployed Preparing To Return To Work

Example of a functional resume for a warehouse worker or ...

The first thing you should do to explain employment gaps on your resume is to try to spend the time you are unemployed preparing yourself for returning to work. You can do this by using this time for professional development such as earning certifications relevant to your industry, taking continuing education courses, being active in professional associations and spending time doing volunteer or contract work. Doing this can help give you positive experiences you can use to fill employment gaps when writing your resume.

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Use Of Combinational Resume:

A resume is document giving a brief description of candidates educational background, prior work experiences, and accomplishments.

It also provides the objective for employment, summary of the skills, knowledge and contributions, summary of the professional and social volunteer work, list of certifications, etc.

By using combinational resume you can indicate the functions taken up which helps to indicate the accomplishments and skills possessed while downplaying the employment gaps.

The chronological sequence can be opted out for this which is seen in traditional resume format.

Emphasize Why Now’s The Time

If you stepped away from your career without a concise timeline tied to your reasoning, explain why you’re choosing to re-enter the workforce now instead of, say, a year from now.

Again, be concise and don’t feel like you have to justify your decision. Simply let the hiring manager know that you’ve done what you needed to do during your time off and now you’re ready and raring to get back to work.

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Invest In Professional Development

If your recent work experience has little to do with your current job goals, look for opportunities to bolster the skill sets your target employers care about. If you’re unsure which of your skills need an extra boost, search your network for individuals who work in the field you’re pursuing and ask them. It’s amazing how many insights and resume tips you can gain over a lunch or coffee date.

There are many free and low-cost training opportunities available online and in person. Take a look at SkillShare, edX, Coursera,, and CourseHorse, to name a few. Also, use sites like to find conferences related to your target field. In addition to being networking goldmines, these types of events often offer certification programs onsite. If you’re considering a major career change, you may need to go back to school for more extensive training.

Related:Â;The Top Skills Employers Are Looking For

Explaining And Conquering Employment Gaps On Your Resume

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Whether its taking voluntary time off to care for children and loved ones or getting laid off or terminated from a job, many job seekers wonder how to handle employment gaps in their resumes.

Fortunately, by being honest, positive, and proactive, you can explain nearly any employment gap in a way that will make hiring managers focus on all your wonderful skills and experience, not the spaces in between.

Here are some of our top tips on explaining gaps in your resume, and how to handle common employment gap scenarios.

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When Is An Unemployment Gap Too Long

There is no exact answer to this question, as everybody’sÂ;situation is different. The biggest hurdle to overcome with employment gaps is explaining them to the employer in an effective way. You need to show that your time off was either a necessity or helped expand your knowledge in some way.

If possible, you should reassure your future employer that it is unlikely to happen again.

Here is what career expert Alison Green says regarding the length of unemployment:

“…itâs not the gap itself thatâs an issue.Â;Itâs just that it raises a question of whether thereÂ;couldÂ;be something concerning behind it.Â;When you can demonstrate that there isnât, itâs a non-issue.

As for length, itâs very unlikely that youâll ever even be asked about a gap of a few months or less. In general, gaps donât become a question for employers until theyâre five or six months or longer, and they donât become potential red flags until theyâre longer than that.”

For more information on the length of an employment gap, we have a related post devoted to the subject: How Long is too Long Of An Employment Gap?

Ways To Handle An Employment Gap On Your Resume

An employment gap on your resume doesnt have to be the kiss of death.


One of my clients’ most common concerns is that an employment gap will put them at a disadvantage when looking for that next jobespecially given the circumstances surrounding the pandemic. of 2,000 U.S. adults who became unemployed between March and October 2020 found that 84% of those surveyed believe there is a stigma associated with being out of work. And roughly two-thirds assume that stigma affects their ability to find a new job. However, found that 96% would hire a candidate who was laid off due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

If you were laid off or furloughed due to the current economic situation, dont despair. An employment gap on your résumé doesnt have to be the kiss of death. Here are some tips to navigate the situation in a positive way:

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Label It A Sabbatical

One way to address gaps in your resume is to be as clear and straightforward as possible. If you want, you can list your unemployment dates in your Work History section under the label Professional Sabbatical. This indicates that you intentionally spent time away from work, without going into details.

How To Write A Long

2016 resume templates

If you haven’t had any form of employment for an extended period of time, it’s important to write a resume that tailors to this unique situation. Knowing how to create a strong and compelling resume despite your lengthy unemployment gap can impress hiring managers and help them see you as a competitive candidate worthy of the job you’re applying for. In this article, we define long-term unemployment, list tips to help you write a resume after your long-term unemployment gap and provide you with a long-term unemployment resume sample.

Related:How to Explain Gaps in Employment

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Explaining Gaps In Employment In Your Interview

Explaining;gaps in employment is really;just about knowing what reasons are okay to share, and which ones you should tell a white lie about or not share. And then being upfront and comfortable with your answer.

These are all good sample reasons for having a gap in employment:

  • Caring for a sick family member
  • Caring for a young child
  • Any medical or health issue
  • Taking time off to relocate and find a job in a new state/city
  • Pursuing further education or going back to school
  • Pursuing any other type of professional training
  • Taking time off to travel, study, work on a solo project, etc.
  • Trying to start a business or freelance career
  • You were laid off, your former company downsized, etc and you had trouble finding a job after
  • You were actively searching but had trouble finding a job (NOTE: Ill cover this in detail later but you need to make it sound like you were being selective in your job search and waiting to find the RIGHT fit. That sounds a *lot* better than saying, I was looking everywhere but couldnt find a single company that would consider hiring me!

Once you have your reason prepared Here are the general steps to follow when explaining gaps in employment in the interview:;

  • Explain the situation clearly but briefly. They dont need a ton of personal details. Just give them the core facts.
  • Reiterate your interest in their position and bring the focus back onto this job interview and this position.
  • Indicate In Years Not Months:

    Short gaps in your resume can be highlighted by managing to express the experience gained in terms of years of employment rather than expressing it as years and months. It makes it easier to show the skills possessed.

    For instance instead of indicating as Sales Executive from May 2000 till June 2002, you could indicate as Sales Executive from 2000 to 2002.

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    Final Advice On How To Explain Gaps In Employment:

    Dont be apologetic about your work history. Taking time off is not something to be ashamed of. Not every company will want to interview you, but some will. Stand by your decisions and choices, present your skills with a straight-forward resume format, and be ready to answer questions and explain yourself further in the job interview.

    Related reading:

    Have You Done Anything Interesting

    Resume Gaps: How to Explain Employment Gaps on Resume

    Suppose you travelled during your unemployment; this is definitely something to mention on your CV. If youre thinking that youll struggle to enhance this, you wont.

    Why not write about how you soaked up a new environment, learnt about different cultures and took in another way of life. This will impress companies because these experiences compare to starting a new job.

    In addition, if travelling was one of your goals, mention that too. Companies will see that even when youve been out work, youve kept a driven mindset which can easily apply in the workplace.

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    What About A Functional Resume

    Many hiring professionals say they prefer chronological resumes to functional resumes. They are often suspicious of functional resumes, which are usually used to hide something. Select a functional format only if you have an extremely poor work background with extended gaps or a terrible history of job-hopping.

    Some job seekers try to hide their spotty work histories by submitting a resume cover letter in lieu of a resume. This type of letter covers the key points of a resume in narrative format, but skips over any sketchy parts of the work history. This approach is normally not recommended, because ultimately employers will be looking for the resume.

    List Professional Training Or Seminars

    Include a section to emphasize your relevant training or your attendance at forums and seminars. Even with a large employment gap, including a section like this can help highlight your credentials to hiring managers. Consider listing the sessions and their titles under a section titled “Professional Development.” You can also include this information in the education section of your resume.

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    Remain Proactivewith A Little Assistance

    When it comes to covering resume gaps created by unemployment, its best to be proactive rather than reactive, Rose says. By focusing on what youve achieved during this challenging period, you will demonstrate to employers your can-do attitude, resourcefulness and ability to drive successful results. Could you use some additional help?;Get a free resume evaluation today from the experts at;Monster’s Resume Writing Service. You’ll get detailed feedback in two business days, including a review of;your resume’s appearance and content, and a prediction of a recruiter’s first impression. It’s a quick and easy way Monster’s experts can lend you a hand as you make your way through the job search process.

    Option 2: Expand Your Network

    Resume Sample: Apprentice Plumber

    If youre not interested in venturing out on your own, and are more focused on landing your next job as soon as possible, you need to get comfortable reaching out to people, often ones you dont know. Lets walk through a more specific example:

    Lets say that you are someone whos interested in a marketing career and you were recently laid off. You hope to join a company as an audience development associate, but most of your experience is in sales. In your last role, you worked with the marketing team occasionally, but only to give them feedback on product and website copy.

    What should you do?

    As a first step, make a list of all of your friends, family, and acquaintances that run or work at small businesses. Email them offering to help with different marketing activities, like growing their social media following or getting influencers to share their products. If you run out of people that you know, reach out to small brands you find on Instagram for products that resonate with you, and offer to help them reach new audiences by introducing them to communities that you belong to or online groups that you can help them gain access to.

    If you do enough outreach, some of these people will engage with you, and pretty soon youll have a portfolio of clients that can speak to the value youre able to bring to a team. Even if you dont get paid for some of this work, it is still experience that can be referenced on your resume.

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    Avoid These Resume Mistakes

    • Never exaggerate dates on your resume to extend the duration of your last job:Stretching dates to cover a gap is lying on a resume, and that is never a good option, Ditta warns.;
    • Dont feel forced to use a traditional resume format: A purely chronological resume may not be the best resume format for those who have been unemployed for a number of years. Instead, explore the advantages of a combination resume, Rose suggests. This type of resume allows you to emphasize key skills while downplaying employment gaps.;
    • Dont sell yourself short:The most common mistake I see unemployed professionals make on their resumes is minimizing their contributions, Ditta says. Ive worked with clients who have raised significant amounts of money for nonprofit organizations, for example, but when asked about this, they reply that they were only a volunteer. The fact is that they achieved it, and therefore, they should take credit for it.

    Mention New Skills And Experiences You Are Gaining

    Professionals who are unemployed for more than six months are known to face hiring discrimination. But these are not normal times. Citing her experience as a resume writer during the 2008 recession, Franco said she believed more recruiters would be inclined to be forgiving of long-term unemployment.

    There were certainly people who were jerks about it , but that was not the majority, and I think that will be the case now, Franco said. But it is going to be important to show that you didnt just sit and clean your house while you were gone. … Whatever you are doing during the downtime, show that.

    Instead of saying your position was eliminated, say that your department or division was cut, or that a large percentage was cut.

    – Resume writer Virginia Franco

    If you dont have current work experiences, another way to fill in any gaps is to list things like courses completed and volunteer experiences undertaken during this period of forced unemployment.

    You could use that volunteer experience as a position on your resume to fill in that gap, Watkins said. And within that explanation of that volunteer role, you could say that, Following recent furlough or recent layoff because of coronavirus, I began volunteering in…

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