3 Tips for Handling Gaps on Your Resume
According to a survey done by Monster.com, over half of fully employed Americans have experienced unemployment or career gaps in their lifetime. Gaps in employment lasting from 6 months to 1 year are generally a red flag when it comes to reviewing candidates for a job. However, there are a few steps you can take to make employment gaps seem less daunting. Below are 3 tips for how to handle gaps on your resume.
Explain Layoffs with Honesty
If an interviewer asks about a gap in employment, never answer dishonestly. Although it may be tempting to try to sweep a layoff under the rug, it’s always best to explain it with honesty. Companies carry out layoffs for many reasons including downsizing or acquisitions. Giving a verifiable reason helps an employer understand that the layoff wasn’t due to your job performance. Try to remain positive despite any negative feelings surrounding the circumstances of your layoff. Instead of spending all of your time explaining it away, focus on your experience and the impact you made during your time with the company.
Fill the Employment Gap
Most employers are more concerned with gaps in employment than with a layoff, or whatever the reason may be. An employer wants to know how you filled your time during that gap other than time spent searching for a job. It may be worth accepting a less ideal job while you carry out your job search to avoid having a gap in employment. An employment gap can also be supplemented by adding unpaid experience to your resume. This includes using your professional skills in volunteer work for a charity or a nonprofit. Not only does this help fill the gap on your resume, it can also be a valuable addition to your experience and your resume. You can also fill an employment gap by training and learning new skills that can help you grow professionally and to prepare you for resuming your career.
Avoid Making Patterns
Just like job hopping, it’s important not to make employment gaps a pattern in your job history. When an employer evaluates your resume, they look for stability. While a single employment gap can be easy to explain away, a consistent pattern of leaving gaps between jobs will raise a red flag. An employer might predict a continuation of this pattern and assume you will leave them in the same manner. This could be reason enough to have a hiring manager pass on moving you forward in the interview process. If you have a gap in employment more than once, it’s more important than ever to fill the gap and avoid displaying a pattern that could dramatically hurt your chances of getting the job.
Gaps in employment can sometimes hurt your chances when looking for a new job. However, these gaps are not uncommon, and there are ways to handle an employment gap that diminish the negative connotations. If you find yourself between jobs, consider these 3 tips for helping you stay a competitive candidate for your next role.
Bradley Staffing Group is a full-service staffing firm based in Wayne, PA. We are committed to matching A-level talent with best-in-class businesses. Our knowledgeable and well-trained staff brings a combined 70+ years of staffing experience to our clients and candidates alike. http://bradleystaffinggroup.com/bradley/contact-us/