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How to describe the employment gap in your resume

Employers typically form their initial impression of you based on the information in your resume. Discussing employment gaps in your resume properly is critical to ensuring that those gaps do not negatively impact the impression developed about you. Recognizing how to add employment gaps as a plus in your job application can assist you to build a strong experience segment. In this post, we will cover everything you require to learn about articulating gaps in your work record, such as where to describe employment gaps and a collection of valid reasons.

What are employment gaps?

Image for part: What are employment gaps?

Employment gaps are long stretches in your career when you didn't have a proper job. An employment gap can last anywhere from a few months to a few years and can happen voluntarily or involuntarily. Employment gaps on a curriculum vitae can be concerning if you do not thoughtfully explain your gap in jobs and the expertise you obtained during that period.

Tips for demonstrating employment gaps on a resume

To illustrate gaps in your work record, follow these steps;

Planning to find a new job 

The initial step in outlining employment gaps on your job application is to begin to devote the time you aren't working is to prepare to get a job. You can accomplish this by utilizing this period for training programs like earning industry-specific accreditations, pursuing continuing education programs, participating in professional organizations, and spending time doing volunteering work or a temp job. It will provide you with significant experiences that you can utilize to replace employment gaps on your resume.

Evaluate which jobs to include

Then decide whether your employment gap should be added to your resume. It's often not essential to list each job you have ever held on your job application. If you are a specialist with many years of expertise and your employment gap happened early in your vocation, you might not have to provide the work you had before your employment gap. Overall, you might also give only your most relevant and accurate job experiences in the resume's work experience section. Once you've determined which job positions you have to provide on your curriculum vitae, you can figure out which job history you have to discuss.

Attempt to hide small gaps

If the gaps in the work record are minor and happened in-between jobs, you can conceal them by not writing about the month from the date of every job experience. Rather, list the years you worked in every role. But even so, this technique of concealing gaps in employment on your job application generally only performs well if the gaps you're trying to hide are less than a year-long and you served in each job for more than a year. For instance, if you worked in one job from May 2019 to January 2022 and didn't start your succeeding job until May 2022, you can conceal this job gap by displaying the duration of your initial job as 2019 - 2022 and the periods of your next job as 2019 - Present. Although it may help you get past the first round of review with your job application, you will be questioned about exact dates throughout an interview, so be ready to justify the purpose for your gap in an optimistic way.

Apply a resume format for hiding the gap

Try to cover up job gaps by employing a resume format like the functional format. A functional resume format highlights your qualifications and accomplishments rather than your experience. It can assist in making the significant experiences you have the main purpose of your resume, you can add sections including a professional summary and core achievements in your resume. Then, at the bottom of your resume, add your employment section. You can also use the functional resume format in combination with the point stated above to lessen the impact of minor employment gaps.

Mention the cause of extended employment gaps

Lengthy periods of unemployment will usually necessitate a more straightforward approach in your resume than short periods of unemployment. If you have a job gap that is longer than a year, it will be visible on your job application even if you only specify the years or use a functional resume format. You can get around this by describing what you were doing throughout your employment gap as though it was a job in your experience segment. But, you should maintain the entry concise so that it does not divert the individual examining your resume from more appropriate experience.

Provide skills acquired during the gap

If you can connect the experience you achieved all through your employment gap to the role you are applying for, including more specific data in your job gap introduction may be valuable. Give concrete instances of everyday duties and tasks that you had throughout your employment gap that apply to the tasks of the job you want.

Outline solid reasons for job gaps 

Employment gaps can happen for many factors, both voluntary and unintended. When justifying job gaps on a resume, try to provide a valid reason for the gap. There could be empty spaces in your work record for a range of reasons, such as;

  • Time invested searching for jobs.
  • Being dismissed as a result of workplace changes.
  • Taking a leave of absence to be an at-home parent or care provider.
  • Medical leave
  • Time dedicated to advancing your education, obtaining certifications, or licensing.
  • Moving from one geographical area to another
  • Personal growth was the focus of the gap period

It is normally more crucial to define your employment gap in your resume and how you devote your hours while not working than the justification for your job gap. So, when stating employment gaps on your job application, try to convey the advantages obtained instead of the drawbacks.

Where should job gaps be addressed? 

You must know not only how to define employment gaps and where to convey them. Overall, you might also recognize gaps in your jobs in three areas; cover letter, resume, and an interview. Although there are techniques to minimize the appearance of job gaps on your job application, it is still vital that you be open and upfront in clarifying employment gaps. Since it enables you to go into specifics about how you utilized your time when you weren't working to organize to find a full-time job, your cover letter is an excellent spot to indicate significant gaps in employment. Clarifying job gaps in the cover letter and resume also proves to employers that you are genuine and reliable, which can enable you to stand out from the pack.

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