When you’re job hunting with resume gaps, you might feel that there’s no hope in landing a new career. However, there’s no need to fear. Addressing the gaps in your resume is less daunting than it sounds if you understand how to go about it correctly.
There are multiple reasons why people experience gaps in employment. Whether they graduated from school, took time off to take care of family, traveled, or, in the case of this recent pandemic, were laid off due to budget cuts. When explaining gaps in employment to hiring managers and recruiters, it’s all about how you frame the experience.
Keep reading this article to learn how to fill the gap in your resume and still shine as the best candidate during your interview.
Focus on positivity
It might be tempting to assume that hiring managers and recruiters will look at your resume and not notice that you haven’t worked in a few years. However, this won’t be the case. Before your interview, you have to prepare and figure out how to discuss the gaps in your employment while finding positive value in your experience.
While you rehearse standard interview questions that may be asked of you, now also is the time to identify the skills you gained during your gap time. Did you freelance? Did you pick up some new skills that would be useful in this position? Did time away make you realize how passionate you are about your career goals?
Glean whatever information you process from these questions. Craft them into answers you can give to a potential employer, highlighting your professional growth and how you’d make a fantastic hire.
Show your dedication
Include any work or volunteer experience you accrued during your time off. You must show hiring managers and recruiters that you were committed to staying active and developing new skills while you’re away from a professional environment.
If you worked on freelancing jobs or started a passion project of your own, include these examples in your cover letter to potential employers. If you helped multiple clients in web development projects during your freelancing experience, give yourself a title, such as “freelance web developer.” Then, include it in your resume.
As is the case with traditional employment, don’t just list responsibilities. Instead, show what you accomplished. If you went back to school during your employment gap or took a class, include various certifications in your resume’s education section.
Tell the truth
This is extremely important. It’s never, ever a good idea to lie on your resume. It’s also not a good idea to change dates on your resume so that your gap time appears shorter than what it indeed was. People can easily go back and verify the information. In the worst-case scenario, you could land a new job and get fired for lying on your resume.
The best policy is always honesty. If you’re asked why you left your old job, tell the truth without talking badly about your former supervisors. If budget cuts occurred and you were laid off, explain the restructuring and that you were let go. Then, talk about what you learned and what you’re looking for in the next job.
If you left a job for personal reasons, like becoming a caretaker, a stay-at-home-parent, you could say that without diving deep in your answer.
There are so many reasons a talented employee’s resume might be blank for a few years. A good employer will be focused on the present to give them a chance to shine in the here and now.
Your interview is the chance for you to prove that you’re a valuable asset to a company. Practice makes perfect, so work on these tips before heading in so that you don’t fumble when asked about your employment gaps.
At Infinity Consulting Solutions (ICS), we know that finding a job during these uncertain times can be a time-consuming and challenging task. Finding a career can be even more difficult. Please keep in mind that ICS is here to become your career partner and help you find new opportunities, no matter the gaps on your resume.