Gaps in Resume

There’s a Gap in Your Resume? No Big Deal!

There’s a Gap in Your Resume? No Big Deal!
Reading Time: 3 minutes

A gap in your resume might have been a deal-breaker in the past, but as with many things, the pandemic has changed the perspective of them.

People find themselves in between jobs through no fault of their own; maybe budgets were cut, companies went down, or as childcare became of utmost importance with remote learning, they had to care for family members. The point is that hiring authorities are well aware that things have changed in more ways than one in the workforce and that the Great Resurgence will bring people in with varied work experience.

If you’re beginning your job search to return to work, there are still some things you should keep in mind to address these gaps and ace your first impression.

Fill the gaps

If you’re on the job market for a new opportunity, you should be able to use your time wisely and pick up new skills to be a more marketable candidate. You don’t have to get a whole master’s or Ph.D. to acquire new valuable knowledge. Volunteering, networking, or continuing your education are all perfectly explainable reasons for your gap in employment history.  Freelance work is also a way to use that time productively and further your experience.

You can add any of these to your CV to explain a gap instead of leaving it to become a bigger question than it should be. If you’re upfront about your story, things will flow during interviews.

But maybe you’re in a different situation, and these gaps are in your past. In cases such as these, there’s no need to feel ashamed. The best advice is still to have clear communication whenever you’re looking for a new job. If you feel discouraged about what your resume has to offer, working with a recruiter could help take your first impression to the next level.

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Focus on your experience.

The most important question to answer during interviews is what you can bring to a position for hiring authorities.

Similarly, when you’re trying to do a career change, the skills and knowledge carry over from one job to the next, so you shouldn’t focus on when you did things but on your accomplishments. It doesn’t matter what you did during your time off, but how you can showcase your experience into newfound skills to achieve what you’re set to do in your new position.

Maybe you were taking care of your family. This experience can shed a positive light on your resume by focusing on the organizational skills needed to run a home. Which might come in handy depending on the position that you’re applying for, such as an office manager.

As with any good resume, the key is to highlight the facts, accomplishments, and benefits of what you can offer to your new workplace. By learning what experiences heighten your profile, you can market yourself as a highly desirable candidate by focusing on them even during a work gap.

Avoid future gaps.

Even though on-going employment might not be in your immediate control, you can always hustle through personal projects. Balancing your time between freelancing and a full-time job can be an asset to prove that you’re driven and a go-getter. Ambition can take you far, even when you don’t have a clear path.

Find something that you care about and believe that you can balance whether you have a full-time job or not. You can work on this on and off while you build something from the ground up to boost your portfolio and establish that you can show results.

Honesty is key.

Regardless of your job status, it’s always better to be completely honest in an interview. Prepare to talk about your work history thoroughly, gaps included. Avoid confusion and doubt by openly talking about them with confidence and highlighting what you learned in that time.

Again, write openly about your history and aspirations within your cover letter. Remember to always talk in a positive light about the gap. Instead of talking about not being able to find a job, discuss the importance of finding the right opportunity and fitting into the company culture.

All in all, a gap in your resume is not the end of the world. Set yourself up to make a comeback with confidence and the right attitude.

Contributed by Ana Martinez

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