Explaining employment gaps in your resume is one of the toughest parts of the job searching process. Almost 84% of the employers nowadays can understand resume gaps, especially after recession and do not pay much heed to it. Still there are jobseekers who are afraid of showcasing there resume gaps and assume that the perspective employer may think low of their candidature if they have career gaps in their resume. There could be several reasons for taking time off from work like family issues, illness or even traveling. What ever the case may be the challenge is how effectively you can present your resume gap without imposing a negative impression on the recruiter.
When I say that the recruiters do not give much attention to the resume gaps, it ideally means that they are interested in seeing how best you have utilized your time off. Here in this post, I have listed down 5 ways which would help you explain career gap in your resume successfully and mark a positive impression on the employer.
1- Be Prepared in Advance:
Don’t leave it to the employer’s imagination, that what was the reason behind your career gap. If it is left to them, it is sure to have a negative impact. Be assured that if a recruiter tracks a career gap on your resume, he will surely come up with the question and would enquire about the reason behind it. So it is advisable that you go well prepared. What ever the reason is you should have a positive answer to back it.
2- Avoid Months in Your Resume:
If you were in a job since quiet sometime (like a year plus) than you can eliminate adding months to your resume and simply mention years. This should give you a chance to cover career gaps as the resume would just showcase the number of years and month details can go unnoticed.
3- Add a Positive twirl to your Résumé Gap:
There can be several reasons for taking time off, other than getting fired or layoff. Whatever might be the reason, try adding a positive twirl to your time off. You might have taken up some new course to enhance your skill set or may be you were doing some freelancing work while not working full time. Try combining these activities with the current job profile. Highlight the positive aspects by saying that you did xyz course and it would help you in the current profile in a positive way. OR you can mention that while doing freelancing, you understood the detailed aspects of the projects and now you understand the project work flow better.
4- Take Advantage of your Cover Letter:
Most of the experts suggest that if you have a career gap, instead of mentioning it in detail in your resume. Mention the employment gap in your cover letter in a line or two. This would give an impression to the recruiter that you do not want to hide anything and he has full opportunity to discuss the gap details with you during the interview.
5- Don’t be Dishonest:
The biggest turn off for the employers is being dishonest. Almost 50% of the resume that are received by the headhunters have some or the other sort of career gap in it. Acknowledging the gap and accepting it with positive attitude will help you in the long run. There could be nothing worse than hiding the resume gaps and than being caught during the interview. Specially avoid omitting layoff details from your resume. On the first opportunity you get mention it clearly that you were laid off and than you joined such an such course to enhance your skill set and utilize the free time in the most productive way.
Some Quick Points to Keep in Mind While Explaining Gap on Your Resume:
- Do not mention the employment gap details in the cover letter in a highlighted form. In a casual tone and not more than 2 lines jot down the career gap information.
- Always maintain a positive tone.
- While communicating during the interview, try diverting the interviewer’s attention more towards your expertise and skill sets. Rather than focusing on career gaps.
- Try instilling confidence in the interviewer by focusing on your work ethics and strong desire to return back to work with force. Some employers are of the perception that if a candidate has an employment gap history there are chances that he may quit the job soon.
So focus and try eliminating those misconceptions that employers have for candidates making a comeback.
Read More Related Articles:
- How to Write a Good Resume
- Top 10 Common Resume Mistakes
- Useful Video Conference Interview Tips & Techniques
- 10 Interview Tips
- Top 3 Interview Questions with Answers