Industry insights for job seekers and employers.

Does Your Resume Have Gaps? Don’t Let That Worry You!

A gap in your resume is not necessarily a bad thing. What matters is how you used the time. For example, a gap that was caused by a sudden lay-off may have provided you time to study or to take training. You may have tried consulting work while you cared for an ailing family member. Either case is an example of an individual’s flexibility and adaptability.

Jennifer Dulski, COO of and writing for LinkedIn, states that among her critical traits for new recruits are accomplishments, adaptability, the ability to learn fast, and a passion for whatever interests them. These traits can be conveyed even with gaps in employment.

Nicole Williams of Monster suggests providing an explanation for a gap in a cover letter. If you succeed in landing an interview, have answers ready that will assuage any interviewer concerns. Failing to address a gap in your resume will only raise employer concern.

  • Honesty is the best policy. If you admit on your resume that you were laid off or fired, but then show that you have benefited or advanced as a result, you are demonstrating confidence and integrity. Additionally, addressing an issue head-on may eliminate the need for the employer to do so. A background check, conducted by most employers, will reveal accurate information; never attempt to deceive interviewers.
  • Consider changing your resume to a functional rather than a chronological format. This enables you to put the focus on your individual skills rather than a historical listing of employers. List employers under individual achievements so that the hiring manager will appreciate first the quality of your skills. List your employers and dates later in the resume, and consider using just years rather than months and years.
  • List separately any significant training, qualifications, volunteer work, or entrepreneurial achievements. Even better, link them with specific goals. For example, you may have gained management experience by organizing community fundraising events. Hiring managers will be impressed by the fact that you are busy and have diverse interests.

Staffing Service USA can help you craft your resume in a way that best reflects your value to an employer. A gap in employment is not a weakness, and your activities during that time might constitute positive experience toward your future success.

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