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Addressing Employment Gaps: Tips for Overcoming Challenges in Your Resume



Addressing Employment Gaps Tips for Overcoming Challenges in Your Resume

Employment gaps are common these days. According to the statistics, more than 70% of working people in the US have them on their resumes. Yet, addressing gaps can be intimidating, especially when you know that employers pay much attention to them.

The main thing about employment gaps is having a reasonable explanation of what you were doing while unemployed. Whether your employment break was because of raising children, prolonged illness, COVID layoff, travel, or education, in this article, you’ll see how to address the gap effectively.

If you are not sure how to explain your employment gaps or other issues properly, a Chicago Resume Writing Service can help. An expert from a writing service in Chicago will work one-on-one with you to compose a resume that emphasizes your skills and achievements and downplay such issues as gaps in your career. You can order a new resume with a 24-hour delivery and start applying for jobs tomorrow.

What is considered an employment gap?

Being unemployed for six months or more is considered an employment gap. Even though such gaps are common, employers still are very critical about them. Hiring managers can assume that if the candidate is unemployed for a while, they cannot commit to one company, have difficulties working with others or have performance issues.

Thus, your main goal is to persuade the employers that your career break was not due to one of such issues and has a reasonable explanation. Do not make the employer assume the worst – address your gaps on a resume proactively. Here’s how to do this.

7 Professional tips to explain employment gaps

Use a year-only format to downplay minor gaps

If you have a couple of gaps that lasted a few months, the best strategy is to leave out months and keep years only. Thus, you will be honest about periods of employment, but won’t emphasize gaps that can raise concerns with a hiring manager. If you don’t have gaps that last longer than one year, your professional experience will look consistent on paper.

List caregiving as a full-time job

Professionals who took time off work to take care of their parent or raise children can list this period as a full-time job. In a few bullets, list your daily activities and tasks, emphasizing such skills as organization, time management, problem-solving, and others.

Think about how your caregiving experience can be related to your target job. For example, if you are aiming at a customer service role, focus on your communication skills and the ability to negotiate and stay calm in challenging circumstances.

Explain what you were doing during the gap

Your main goal is to persuade the employer that you kept your skills current during the career gap, or even learned something new that makes you a valuable employee. So, be sure to list the activities you were engaged in while off work. List volunteering or personal projects you worked on as real jobs. If you were traveling or had health issues, you can add a line or two about that as well.

List education and training

If you took time off work to complete your degree, list it at the top of your Education section. Consider also moving this section to the top where the recruiters will easily see it.

In any case, it is important to show the employers that you never stopped learning. List training, online courses, and workshops you attended while unemployed. In your cover letter, you may expand on what you learned precisely and how these newly acquired skills can benefit the employer.

Mention a layoff or termination

Massive layoffs due to COVID or restructuring are quite common. So, if you were laid off, consider adding a line explaining it next to the job title or at the end of the job description. Thus, the hiring manager will see that your unemployment was involuntary and will be more loyal to you.

List jobs you had the last 10 years

To keep your resume short and focused, go back 10 to 15 years when describing your work experience. If your career gap was over 10 years ago, you can skip this job whatsoever, so you won’t have to think about a reasonable explanation. Moreover, keeping your employment history brief can help you avoid age discrimination.

Be honest

Some job-seekers are tempted to lie on their resume to cover unpleasant facts such as career gaps. Yet, while this tactic can secure you an interview, the employer will quickly reveal the truth after a quick background check. Thus, you may eventually lose your job.

Lying to your new employer isn’t the best way to establish a long-term professional relationship. Be honest and rely on the strategies listed above to address your gaps.

Composing a resume that wins the employer’s attention is challenging. With the tips listed above, you’ll effectively explain why you have been unemployed for some time. If you need assistance with other aspects of resume composition, do not hesitate to contact a resume writer for a consultation. Good luck with your job application!

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