Blog / Managing Employment Gaps on your Resume

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Employment gaps are much more common now than in the past. Rarely will you find an employee staying with the same company for 35 years before retiring. There are a multitude of reasons for these gaps: family situations, looking to advance your career, medical necessity and unfortunately - layoffs. Many people feel these can be explained during an interview. However, they might be the very reason you are not GETTING an interview.

When companies review resumes and see gaps between jobs, an impression is created that you lack the ambition or ability to advance your career. What company would want to waste their time interviewing a candidate with those qualities? You want to show career progression, not stagnation and if there is inactivity in your resume, it’s best to address it.

The first step is to explain the gap. If you were let go from a company, explain why. Were they restructuring, downsizing or relocating? Being let go for these reasons are easy to clarify and it is much better to address them in your resume, then to leave them unexplained, hoping they will be overlooked.

If you voluntarily left a job, don’t be afraid to give the reasons for it. Millions of people in the workforce take time off from employment for sabbaticals, travel, or family obligations. Good intent behind leaving a company can be easily explained. Emphasize the activities you participated in during your time away from employment which helped improve your professional standing. Companies are much more likely to view a resume favorably if you can show certifications, education, freelance work or any other valuable experience that would convince them you continued to advance your professional learning.

Finally, if you were dismissed from a previous job for an individual reason, you may have no other option but to wait for an interview to explain it. If this is the case, be prepared prior to the interview. Be honest, stick to the facts, and don’t come across as bitter. Stay positive and emphasize what you learned from the experience.

Remember, a resume not only tells a prospective employer about your professional history, it also implies a standard of ethics. Taking control over what your credentials illustrate will make it harder for hiring managers to make negative assumptions about any gaps they may see.

 

Copyright: convisum / 123RF Stock Photo

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