I’ve realized that many job seekers feel they have to settle for secondary jobs because their employment gaps would prevent them from being a potential candidate for the job they truly want. Even though having employment gaps in your resume wouldn’t be ideal, many hiring managers are willing to overlook it if you are able to explain these employment gaps with valid reasons. Remember: Hiring managers are people too. We understand that sometimes you need to take time off to take care of your family, for example, and that would only show how dedicated and committed you really are!
Here’s how to explain employment gaps:
1. Include any volunteer work or work done for the community.
Even if you weren’t getting paid for it, make sure to include any volunteer work you may have been a part of. Not only will this show that you were staying busy during this time, but chances are that you also had a supervisor as a volunteer. Use your experience here to your advantage and describe how this customer service opportunity helped you grow as a person and learn new skills that you can now apply in the work force.
2. Avoid chronological resume and switch to a resume that simply emphasizes your skills/job functions.
A chronological resume would simply make your employment gap stand out even more. Even though (hopefully) you are not trying to hide this gap from the hiring manager, using a hybrid resume instead would help you look better as a candidate.
3. Put a Positive spin on it.
As we stated it previously, chances are your Hiring Manager will be understanding if you simply explain why you have the employment gap. You can explain that you took time off to take courses, travel, or spend time with your family, for example, and explain how these experiences would help with this new position
4. BE HONEST.
Having an employment gap will not automatically disqualify you from a position, but lying definitely will. Whatever your reasons may be for having an employment gap, always be honest with your Hiring Manager! Remember, they do this for a living and they are experts in knowing when a candidate is lying.