Accounting for Gaps in Your Employment History on Your Resume

Accounting for Gaps in Your Employment History on Your Resume

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When reviewing your resume, recruiters look at what it implies as well as what it states. They especially want to see career progression rather than stagnation. For this reason, gaps in employment can prove problematic. Luckily, you can easily demonstrate your passion and drive during periods of unemployment by pointing to what you did with your time.

While you are not working, you should still focus on professional development by pursuing coursework or training courses, completing freelance or consulting work, or even volunteering or working on personal projects. On your resume, you should keep track of projects you have done and speak about them in detail.

If you have consulted, give a short outline of the content of your work. If you have volunteered, connect this work to your career or be prepared to speak about its personal significance during an interview. Perhaps you left your job because of a sick family member and then dedicated a year to working at a medical nonprofit? This pursuit is meaningful and probably taught you important lessons that relate to your career.

You may want to include a line on your resume about why you left your last job, whether it was for personal reasons or because you were let go during routine downsizing. Including a line about the reason shows that you are concerned about the message your resume is conveying and that you want to demonstrate your dedication to your career. You should never blur the truth and always keep the conversation positive. For example, saying that you did not like your former manager is not productive. However, stating that you learned you need to work on a team that emphasizes collaboration shows personal and professional growth.

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