What Do I Do If I Have Gaps in My Resume?

When the job market is volatile, many qualified candidates are experiencing job gaps that might be difficult to explain. Through no fault of your own, you may have been laid off or a company could have closed out from under you. Until very recently, new jobs were harder to find and having a gap made landing a job even harder. While hiring managers would love to see a gap-less job history on your resume, sometimes it’s all about how you sell yourself. Here are a few ways you can address the problem of employment gaps and land your next job. 

Change Your Resume Format

The most common form of resume is the traditional chronological listing of jobs starting with the most recent. But if you’ve had gaps in your experience, this will leave gaping holes when years are missing. It may lead to more questions and fewer phone calls when you’re submitting your resume.

You can take the pressure off when you worked by switching to the increasingly popular functional resume. In this style, you focus more on your skills and accomplishments rather than the exact dates of employment.

Take a Look at Dates

Speaking of employment dates, we want to emphatically state that we will never suggest you lie on your resume. However, there are ways you can use the dates of employment to your advantage. Rather than including the exact start and end date, consider just listing the months or, in some cases, just the year.

This works best in conjunction with a functional resume format where you’re not specifically highlighting the places you worked and when.

Include Volunteering or Other Experience

One very important question you should ask yourself when you’re developing your resume is: “What did you do when you weren’t working?” Did you work on projects at home? Were you volunteering in your children’s school or with community organizations? Did you travel? Did you go to back school or take a few classes?

Depending on what you did, you can include this as experience in your resume. For example, if you volunteered with a local organization, put down the time frame as if it were a regular job and then include some of the duties you had while working with them. If you took classes in a specific subject, include that with your list of skills and accomplishments.

Work Temp Jobs

Some people worked temporary jobs while they were out of full-time work. And if you did short term projects it might be hard to determine how to list them. But they are easier to list on a resume than you might think.

Rather than listing every assignment separately, list each staffing agency as your employer. Use the dates starting with your first assignment and ending with your last for each of them, even if they overlap. Indicate that you did multiple assignments over that time frame. You can include specific experience with your accomplishments.

Are You Currently Looking For Your Next Great Career Move?

Contact the team at CornerStone Staffing, a leading employment agency now hiring for jobs in Dallas TX.


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