When considering the overall picture of your perfect resume, the issue of employment gaps can be a tricky one to address. It may raise red flags to potential employers if the gap isn't explained sufficiently, so we have a few ways to help you do that.
Your resume is a snapshot of who you are both personally and professionally, and long gaps can give a negative impression about your ambitions and abilities.
1. Why Were You Let Go?
If you were let go because your company downsized or your department restructured, make sure to emphasize these reasons to your potential employers.
2. If You Left Your Job, Keep It Positive
If you quit because your personality clashed with your last employer or you didn't like their policies, now is not the time to share that information.
3. Mention Why You Voluntarily Left Your Job
You may have taken a sabbatical to take care of family emergency or to travel the world. If this is the reason that you left your previous job and have a large gap, don't be afraid to share this information.
4. Show Activities That Improved Your Skills
If you worked with any organizations or volunteered time and your skills relevant to the job grew over the time you were unemployed, emphasize those in your resume.
5. Include Contract or Freelance Work
This is a big, important part of a resume with employment gaps. Did you do freelance work or any consulting during your period of unemployment? If so, make sure to mention this on your resume.
6. Mention Course Work
If you finished courses or earned certifications during your employment gap, mention these to your potential employer. Anything you did to improve your overall job skills can be an asset on your resume.
7. Honesty Is the Best Policy
Never lie or mislead a potential employer about why you have an employment gap. Even the worst piece of honesty is better than the best lie.
8. Wait for the Interview
If you've explained everything you can and still can't justify an employment gap, the only thing you can do is wait for the interview to give an explanation.
9. Be Prepared for Questions
If you make it to the interview stage, it's almost guaranteed that you will be asked about gaps in your employment history. Come prepared with a valid, honest answer that puts you in the best light.
10. Employment Gaps Shouldn't Diminish Confidence
Whether you were let go from your previous job or you left for personal reasons, an employment gap doesn't mean you aren't qualified for the job. Be confident when approaching the topic.
Go the Extra Mile
No matter what type of resume you are creating, it's the little extras that make all the difference. Edit, proofread and edit again before you submit your resume. Create a perfect resume that is concise, to the point and easy to read with bullet points and headers in the appropriate places. Exchange responsibilities for action words that catch attention and highlight your skills and experiences. Despite having a gap in your employment history, you can put the focus on the fact that you are highly qualified for the job rather than on the fact that you took a few years out of the working world.