Employment Gaps on Your Resume

Employment Gaps on Your Resume

If you have employment gaps on your resume, you are not alone.  It is not usual for job seekers to have employment gaps.  People take a year off work to travel.  Some people have these employment gaps from periods of recession.  In other cases, job seekers have been in a situation where the need for their skills was very low.

In other cases, job seekers have taken off to take care of their family.  In some cases, job seekers have gone through personal problems, such as depression or drug addiction.

There is no way to know how an employer will view gaps in your employment.  Each employer may view gaps in experience differently.

When you write your resume, you might omit the dates of the unemployment and omit the explanation for a gap in your employment.  If the question comes up in an interview, simply say in a short statement why you have the gap in your employment.  Write and rehearse giving an answer that is true, believable, and completely provides an explanation for your absence.  For example, if you took a year off to travel, you might simply say, “I had the money and the opportunity to travel places I would not likely be able to see if I waited to visit them.”

Effective employer recruiters will notice the omission of the dates of unemployment and will often not ask you about these gaps until you have an interview.

Qualifications

Typically, the first thing that an employer looks for are your qualifications.  If you have strong qualifications for a job, an employer might disregard the gap in your employment on your resume and invite you in for an interview.

You will find greater success by being selective about the jobs for which you apply.  If you send out hundreds of resumes to companies that have no need for your experience, you will have few interviews relative to the number of jobs for which you apply.  The fact that you have a gap in your experience will have little bearing on your getting a job when you are not qualified for that job in the first place.

Therefore, write your resume to show how your qualifications fit the job opening.

Image: Dennis Jarvis/Flickr

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