If you have gaps in your resume, you are not alone. Long recessions and a restructuring of the economy in the United States have created new complications for people who need to find jobs.
New types of jobs often require that job seekers develop new skills. In some cases, job seekers must receive certifications, credentials, or licenses that require formal training. Some of this training can require that job seekers take time from work.
The result is that many people go through extended periods of unemployment. According to an article in USA Today, 20% of the people who have lost work over the past 5 years are still unemployed, and many of those who found work are in temporary jobs.
Knowing how to handle unemployment gaps on your resume is important.
There is value in doing consulting work, temporary assignments, and even volunteer work. Include information on your resume to help people know what you are doing in addition to seeking a new job.
Job searching involves fundamentals.
The uncertainty of job searching can challenge you mentally, emotionally, and physically. Your finances become uncertain. Trying to focus on job searching is just part of the mental challenge of finding a job. Finding mentors and working with friends can help you stay focused and positive as you go through the daily grind of getting a job. Practicing the fundamentals of contacting employers, making applications, and continuing to seek employment are all critical to finding a job.
Your social media profile has a role in job search.
Maintain consistency between your social media and your resume. If you place a record of your career track on LinkedIn or Google Plus, make sure that the records you keep on those websites and profiles on other sites are consistent with each other and with your resume.
List employment periods in years.
Job seekers frequently list periods of employment in years only. The goal of your resume is to get you to an interview. If there are periods of weeks of unemployment in your past, getting to an interview to discuss those periods of unemployment is better than not getting to an interview at all.