Saturday, March 14, 2020

How to explain career gaps in your resume to an employer

How to explain career gaps in your resume to an employerIts easy to picture your career as one long, unbroken path, from the start of adulthood to the day you retire. You know whats not so easy? Reality. Life can get in the way of even the best-planned career paths, causing gaps and disruption in your employment history. Maybe you took time off for personal health reasons or to take care of a child or family member. Maybe you got laid off, and it took longer than expected to find a new gig. Maybe, at one point, you decided to go backpacking through Lithuania for a year. Whatever the cause, youre not alone. And a gap isnt a dealbreakerwe promise. So lets look at ways to approach breaks in your work history as youre looking for a new job. googletag.cmd.push(function() googletag.display(div-gpt-ad-1467144145037-0) ) 5 rules to explaining a resume gap1. Be honestLying on a resume is always going to be a huge no-no. (And in these days of easily Googleable personalinfo, its a fast way to self-sabotage.) If youre trying to spin a work gap, dontput dates on your resume that dont exist.What you can do is format your resume so that brief gaps arent so glaringly obvious. For example, instead of saying that you worked at X company from March 2014 to February 2018, you can use just the years (20142018).2. Be selectiveYour resume doesnt necessarily need to include every single job youve ever held, especially if youve already been working for a long time. Its acceptable to omit jobs (especially far-back ones or jobs that are not super-relevant to the job for which youre applying now) and focus on the most relevant.3. Be a format rebelTheres no hard-and-fast rule that your resume needs to follow the oh-so-traditional format of header, opening line/objective, then work experience. Instead, if youre trying to spin an employment gap, consider using a skills-based resume format, which puts the Skills section front and center before your work history.Remember your resume is a prof essional narrative, and you control that. If you want to make the story your skills and qualifications rather than the amount of time spent in other jobs, you can make that the focus.4. Be productive during your time awayIf youre anticipating an upcoming break or youre still in one as you start to think about what comes next, make sure youre using your time to stay current on any necessary skills or certifications youll need. Keeping your toe in the water can make for a much easier narrative to sell when youre ready to get back to the full-time grind.5. Be prepared to talk about itHowever you decide to frame the gap in your resume, it maycome up in the interview. This shouldnt be a hide your shame situation.People understand that life throws challenges that require us to make choicesor adjustments. Whatever caused the break in your resume, it happened. Itsokay to own that. But do keep in mind that kompetenzprofil employers arent allowed tomake hiring decisions based on your personal or family status, so youre notobligated to give details. Its okay to keep it general.Like with your resume, this is your chance to make the narrative what you want it to be, and emphasize the positive aspects. Emphasize what you learned from the experience, and what makes you ready to pick back up with this new job.If you were fired or laid off I welchesnt expecting things to shake out that way, but it gave me a chance to dig deep into my career goals, build new skills, and refocus my energies.If you chose to take time off to travel or similar Id reached a point where I needed to take a breather and re-evaluate my career path. It helped me build my skills and taught me so much about working with people from different cultures and perspectives. And now Im back with more energy and focus than ever.If you had healthissues I was going through a tough time, and decided to take the time toconcentrate on getting better. Im a stronger person for devoting that time tomy recovery, and Im rea dy to take on what comes next.If you were takingcare of family I decided to prioritize my family for the past two years.Now Im in a position to pick up my career and focus on my professional goals.Plus, after juggling this care and other responsibilities, my time managementand organizational skills are stronger than everExplaining gaps in your employment history may not be your ideal situation, but it shouldnt be a source of despair, either. Be positive and make sure youre emphasizing all the things that make you a great candidate, and youll be ready.

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