How to Address Career Gaps in a Resume Before Meeting an Employer?
Today, more than ever before, more and more people have gaps in their resumes. Whether due to the economy, world events, or personal choices, not everyone has a resume with connecting work history that perfectly syncs up. And you know what? That’s okay!
There is no shame in taking a career break on your resume, but it is essential to address it. Employers are much more sympathetic to resume gaps than they were in the past, and they’re curious to learn what you were doing during the time you weren’t formally employed.
Address the career gap in a cover letter.
A cover letter is a great way to go into a more in-depth explanation of any potential career gaps on your resume. A short explanation will go a long way and is meant to give context to the gap. Whether you were caring for a family member, taking a sabbatical, or attending school, address why you took time off. Don’t ignore any gaps, and remember that any explanations should not be apologetic or shameful, just purely educational.
Highlight what you’ve achieved during any career gaps.
While not all gaps on a resume will automatically result in this, if possible, highlight what you achieved during this time, and tie it to the role you’re applying for. Make a note of any training, certifications, or continuing education you may have done during your employment gap. If you don’t have anything concrete like this, do not worry. In some cases, personal circumstances may have required your attention elsewhere.
Be upfront about any career gaps.
While some people are tempted to leave off jobs on their resume and play with the dates of employment, it is never recommended to do so. Not only is it dishonest, but it also starts your application on a lie… one that is easy enough to figure out. Don’t get in the door for an interview with false pretenses; it will only hurt you and your professional reputation in the end.
Highlight skills learned during any career gaps.
Being unemployed, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, often results in skill development and strengthening. Discuss how you were able to increase your self-motivation, adaptability, and problem-solving skills during this time and how you would bring those skills forward in a new role. Employers are sympathetic to resume gaps and are more interested in what you did or learned with that time than the gap itself.
If you’re still unsure how to address a gap on your resume, Creative Resumes can help you find a professional solution to make you feel confident as you conduct your job search. As certified resume-writing experts, all of our professional resume services include providing you with a tailored resume and cover letter that will highlight your accomplishments and skills.