For the many people who find themselves between jobs, seeking employment can seem overwhelming. With so many applicants for each position, it’s easy to feel discouraged and wonder if you’ll ever find a new job. The truth is that “gaps in your resume” are actually more common than one might think. Here are some strategies for dealing with gaps that may help you land a new position:
What Do I Say?
If you’re asked about a gap in your resume, it’s best to use whatever space you have to emphasize your skills and strengths. Tell them what you did during the time in question: taking care of a sick relative; traveling for a year; battling depression or other serious illness; raising children. If you expand on what this time period meant to you, and then go on to talk about what you’ve done since the gap, your interviewer will be more likely to see your “time off” as a positive thing.
How Do I Explain It?
If there is something you feel like you need to explain, do so in a simple but honest manner. You can explain why you decided to take time off, what you did during this time, and whether your work experience since then is related to the job for which you are applying.
Why These Strategies?
The more you think about your gaps in employment, the easier it will be to deal with any questions about them. The more you can address them head on, the better off you'll be. Plus, honesty about your gap — whatever it is — is a great way to improve your chances of landing a new job more quickly.
Here are some of the strategies you can use to deal with gaps in your resume:
Keep It Positive
Tell your potential employer that you took some time off to focus on family, pursue a personal passion, or simply relax and reflect. Use your resume wording carefully when describing what you've done during this time and how this will benefit the company you are applying to.
Learn From The Experience
Think about what happened while you were off and how it has changed you. What are you doing now that might be related to this job or career? If you developed great time management skills taking care of your children, getting a job that requires a great attention to detail would now be easier. If you learned more about the importance of customer service while working in a small business, using contacts from your volunteer work to land a new job might be an easy task.
Be Prepared For Questions
Don’t be surprised if your potential employer asks you about a gap in your resume. Put together a list of good answers that you can use to respond to common questions about this time period in your life.
You do not need to be embarrassed about gaps in your resume. Instead of worrying about how to deal with this, use what you learned during your break to make yourself more attractive in the marketplace. Reach out to Network ESC today to learn more!