Employment Gaps: Should You Put It in Your Resume?
There are multiple reasons why we leave companies and circumstances happen to us unexpectedly – family ties, taking care of relatives, traveling, and the likes. Whatever the reason is, your job search should be consistent. But you have a lot of employers and positions in your current resume, and you’re scared that once your dream employer sees that you jump from one job to another, they’ll reject your application. The question stands, should you put employment gaps in your resume?
Do you even need to put that on your resume?
Did the employment gap happen a long time ago? Were you employed after it happened? Do you think you have gained certain skills and knowledge during that time – you were in school or internship? It all depends if it can be related to the position and company you’re applying for. There’s no certain rule when putting experiences on your resume, but being honest is key. Most employers – especially the big ones – do their background research on you, and that includes work history. So, when that happens, be truthful especially during your interviews. For whatever your reasons are for your employment gaps, there are ways to properly acknowledge them without it sounding negative.
To better handle employment gaps, use years instead of the usual month/year format most resumes use. This is to show that you have been working for the particular year. It looks neater and not all over the place. However, do take note that filling out application forms may ask you to be specific about your employment dates and be ready to have a good explanation during the interview.
Use a Different Resume Format
It’s common that employment dates are highlighted – whether in bold or underlined. You can opt to have it in plain text or use a smaller font. You can also add the employment details at the latter part of the resume. Make sure that you’re highlighting your skills and accomplishments. This will condition the one reading your resume that you have an impressive resume rather than focus on the employment gaps.
Don’t Put All Your Experiences
If you’ve been in the workforce for a very long time already, then your first experience doesn’t really count anymore – unless you’re still under them at present or it’s your one and only job experience. You can limit your years of experience to ten to fifteen years as this is more acceptable. You can mention your complete work history during the interview or if the employer asks for a complete copy of your experience.
Mention the Employment Gaps in Your Cover Letter
Take advantage of the cover letter by briefly explaining the employment gap in your cover letter. Don’t draw too much attention to it. A simple one sentence to mention it is enough. You can also use it as a way to explain why you gained the experience and skill that you have – if the gap helped you gain that.
Employment gaps are hard to deal with especially if you don’t really have a good reason behind it. But the manner of showing it to employers can soften the blow. Just focus on the positives – studies, freelance work, volunteering, and continuous self-development. Show the employer that you’re excited to be back to work, and your employment gaps are a thing of your past as you look forward to the future of working for them.
Do you want to have your resume handled by experienced writers? Then reach out to us, and we will help you!
Path Consulting has always been proud to help aspiring employees find their dream companies. We always want you to put your best foot forward and place you on the top of mind of recruiters. We would love to hear your story and how we can help.