Industry insights for job seekers and employers.

Don’t be Intimidated by the Gaps on Your Resume

What may appear as gaps on your resume, if presented wisely, could be an opportunity to show your versatility to an employer. If you have been out of work, or had periods where you took on alternative projects, consider a functional resume that will highlight your skills rather than your chronological employer history.

For some positions, the skills that directly relate to the position are of more interest to an employer than past positions. For example, if you are applying for a job as a sports coach, showing tangible achievements in your coaching abilities would be more impressive to a hiring manager than simply listing who or where you coached. Consider a functional resume format that lists the key skills and your achievements rather than an employer history.

  • If a gap in your resume cannot be avoided, Nicole Williams of Monster suggests providing an explanation in your cover letter. Place a positive spin on your time out of the typical workforce. Be creative. A period of lay-off may have taught you proactive approaches and to think out-of-the box.
  • Explain breaks in conventional employment as opportunities to explore other career-related projects. For example, volunteer work can provide organizational, interpersonal, or supervisory skills. Community work also reflects strength of character and unselfishness. A volunteer project may provide opportunities not available in a company position.
  • List any part-time or independent work that you may have taken on. For example, you may have tried freelancing. Other projects may have provided time management or entrepreneurial experience. Present training or learning experiences as enrichment that has increased your value to an employer.
  • Always be truthful, and do not evade questions during interviews. Prepare 30-second honest answers. During background or reference checks, any hidden information or false dates of employment may be revealed; therefore, always be honest with prospective employers.

Your personal experience can differentiate your resume from the competition. If you took a year off to travel, you learned to navigate an unfamiliar environment, organize your time, and were exposed to different cultures and languages; skills which could all prove valuable skills in a diverse work environment. Contact a Staffing Service USA professional. We can help you to present your professional history in a positive way that will appeal to employers.

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