Do you have an employment gap in your resume? (Experts consider a gap to be any lapse of employment that is four months or longer.) Some employers can view these as the red flag of an unpredictable or unreliable employee. For that reason, you’ll need to find an effective way to either explain or downplay resume gaps.
How to Address Holes and Gaps in Your Resume
- Be Up Front About it.
Regardless of what caused your employment gap, be honest with your potential employer. He or she may find out the truth even if you try to conceal it, so it’s best to be straight forward. Make note of any gaps in your cover letter by giving a brief explanation, and discuss them in further detail during your interview. Plan ahead of time what you will say to your potential employer so you’ll be prepared.
- Try Different Resume Formats.
You can also downplay holes in employment by structuring your resume to detract attention from them. A functional style that organizes your resume into different skill categories can be a positive approach to employment gaps—rather than a chronological style that lists your job experiences in order.
Remember, with this method, an employer may still ask about employment holes; it’s best to also be prepared with an explanation, just in case.
- Include Part-Time, Temporary Jobs.
In our tough economic times, perhaps you took on a part-time job while you were in the process of finding something full-time in your field. There’s no shame in needing temporary employment to pay the bills! List out any part-time positions you held while on the road to something more—and don’t forget to include what you learned from them! You might include these in an unrelated experience section of your resume.
- Focus on Skills Your Acquired.
Maybe you took a few months—or even years—off to raise your children. If you acquired any new skills during your unemployment that could help you in a future job, by all means, include these in your resume and expand on them during your interview.
- List Volunteer Experiences.
During your unemployment, did you participate in any charity or volunteer activities? Include these on your resume, with information about how they helped you grow.
Attitude is everything.
An employer wants to hire someone who is ready and willing to work hard. Despite a temporary setback, your positive, can-do attitude will set you apart as a great hire who can move the company forward. Always focus on what you learned, whether employed or not, and how it helped you expand your skill set and body of knowledge. When questioned about employment gaps, your glass-half-full attitude can speak volumes about your view of the world and your work ethic.
Looking for a New Job in Atlanta, Georgia?
If you’re a worker in the Atlanta area currently in search of employment, Happy Faces Personnel Group can help! We pride ourselves in placing our candidates with best-fit positions, because your success is our success. To learn more, contact the experienced Atlanta recruiters at Happy Faces Personnel Group today.