When you are let go from your company, take time off to raise children, or another life circumstance takes you away from the workforce, you have gaps in employment. When you decide to reenter the workforce, those gaps in employment need to be explained. An experienced resume writer can help tell your story. Whether you took six months off to backpack through Nepal or left to care for an ailing parent, there are ways to focus on the skills you developed during those times. You should make sure that you are prepared to show that you are a valuable candidate.
You are not going to be able to hide gaps in employment on your resume. The hiring manager will certainly read through your resume carefully to see your employment history. He or she will ask about the gap in your job history. You can be proactive about the gap by explaining it briefly in your cover letter. It is always better to tell the hiring manager why you have an employment gap than let them imagine all of the potential reasons.
Honesty Is the Best Policy
There is no point in trying to gloss over gaps in employment. Being honest with the recruiter will show that you have integrity and are truthful about your experience.
Focus on the Positive
Whether you realize it or not, there are skills that you developed during that period of time. If you volunteered at your child’s school, you can use this to showcase leadership, community involvement or fundraising abilities. Freelance work, online coursework or workshops can also show why you are the perfect fit for your target job.
Think through the skills you learned along the way. If you planned events for a charity or managed a group of volunteers, you can use these experiences to show skills like organization, adaptability or managing a team.
Do You Always Have to Explain Gaps in Employment?
Sometimes it is not necessary to explain a gap in the past. If you have been in the workforce for years, you will probably not need to explain an employment gap from a decade ago. One easy way to smooth out the gaps is by changing the format of your resume. A resume writer can help you determine how to present your work history in the best light. If the employer asks for exact dates on the application, you should include them.
Hiring managers have heard just about everything. Even highly successful people need to take a break from corporate America to recharge. If you have gaps in employment, you do not have to be uneasy about it. Resume gaps are common and hiring managers will generally understand. As long as you are confident and prepared, you can address the gap and move through the rest of the hiring process. In a nutshell, the lesson is to be prepared for the question, be straightforward, discuss it in a positive light and demonstrate how the experience has been beneficial in increasing your skill set. Happy job search.