Job seekers with an unimpressive work history face greater burden because they need to divert recruiters’ attention away from their imperfect record. Below are a few ways to make employment gap(s) unnoticeable in your resume, without removing them.
Employment Gap: How to Handle It
Here’s how to write a resume with job gaps.
1. Use the functional format.
The upper half portion of your resume should include your skills, the ones that qualify you to your target post. This aims to highlight what you can offer and not what you lack, without hiding your “dim” past in your application tool. With a functional resume, you list your most relevant work experience, only after you’ve itemized your skills.
2. Make your tool employer-centered.
Put a career tag in your resume so that the recruiter can take it as you being a perfect fit for the position. If you have the qualifications it requires, then list them. Just include crucial keywords to make your copy remarkable.
3. Be creative enough.
If you’re a former felon and are afraid this detail may harm your chances for the job, avoid using the word “prison.” You can still mention you’ve served your sentence by writing the term “training.” For example, if you worry people will prejudge you for including Florida State Prison, you may put it this way: training at the State of Florida.
4. List year(s); exclude months.
In case you have a long or intermittent employment gap, be careful in writing the exclusive years of each job held. By omitting the months, you’re somewhat hiding the gaps between months or at least shortening them between two jobs.
Nov 2010 – Apr 2014, Service Crew, Yellow Cab Pizza | Baton Rouge, LA
Aug 2008 – Feb 2010, Cashier, Walmart Supercenter | New Orleans, LA
5. Tell it straight.
Find connections between the reason for your absence in the labor force and your current target job. If you had a two-year break due to foreign travel and you want to become a travel agent, then you’re up for an interview! Your resume may include this:
2008-2010, Travel, South Africa and Middle East
6. Include community involvements.
The volunteer work and local events you’ve joined with other industry professionals while you’re out of full-time job can boost your application. Even if you’re a stay-at-home mom, you still have social activities to fill employment gap on your resume. These include seminar for a professional development program or a health awareness campaign. These unpaid deeds can do wonders to your quest because they show your keenness in advancing both your socialization skills and career.
7. Mention brief employments.
Your stint in a project-based job, contract assignment, and/or any temporary employment after a full-time work still matters. If you can’t put these details in your work history section, place them in another part. Likewise, don’t worry about your 1-month gap on resume; it won’t surely affect your job hiring chances.
8. Give hints in your cover letter.
A cover letter accompanying your resume is a great way to explain or give a hint on what kept you busy during break in employment. Through it, you can state your story and justify the gaps, regardless of length. If you’re unaware, recruiters want to know the reasons for such gaps, and hire “honest” candidates than leaving them unexplained.
Even with gaps in work history, you can still secure your dream job. Be honest, prepared, and confident in telling the reason behind them through a well-written resume.
Sources: Work Coach Cafe | Business News Daily | Susan Ireland
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