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How To Fix Employment Gaps On Your Resume

Life doesn't always go according to plan. Not everyone has a seamless timeline when it comes to their resume. Perhaps you took a year off following graduation to see the world, play music in the central park, or live on a coffee farm. Whatever the case, your path has led you here; hungry and working towards a job. The important thing is that you know how to handle an employment gap in your resume the right way.

1. Show Employers You Are Up To Date On Industry Knowledge

You want your employer to think you are reliable, committed, and up to date on industry knowledge. If you have a large gap between jobs in your resume, you want to show your employer how you have kept up to date on industry knowledge and trends. Perhaps you attended conferences, took a class, did personal extensive research. Whatever the case is, show how you stayed in the loop. If you did not do anything industry-specific, perhaps you did something that has transferable skills. Maybe you provided consultation services to other industry members or continued writing your own book. If you can show how you kept current, you will be better off.

2. Eliminate Short Employment Gaps With Different Formatting

If your gaps between jobs are relatively short, you may be able to eliminate drawing attention to them by not listing months in your job section. Only listing the years you worked may hide these small gaps and avoid your need to explain them completely.

3. Don't Be Afraid To Tell The Truth

If you took time away from the workforce to care for a family member or recover from an illness, there is no shame in telling the truth. Hiring Managers are human beings too, so they might appreciate your transparency when dealing with matters like this. You should avoid emotional description or anything that affects the mood of your resume. Be brief and to the point, then move on. If you took time to travel the world and do poetry readings, then don't shy away from disclosing this impressive information. Part of creating a winning resume is showing that you are a well-rounded person with desirable traits. Someone with the ability to bike across the country and read poetry in front of a packed amphitheater, clearly has determination, self-confidence, and an impressive work ethic.

4. Employment Gaps Due To Incarceration

If you have employment gaps due to time you spent in prison, you might be wondering how to best handle your resume. You probably want to be honest and start your new relationship with your employer on a clean slate, but that does not mean you need to disclose this information prior to the interview, if at all. Many states require that applicants with felonies disclose that information, but other convictions may not require your declaration. We suggest that you simply state that your previous employment ended, and not give specific details about your incarceration on your resume, unless absolutely necessary. It will be easier to explain your past in a face-to-face job interview, where you can talk about what you learned and how you are better suited for the workforce today. It is important not to dwell on negative situations from the past, and instead, talk about your hopes and goals for the future.

Joost
My name is Joost and I have been active as a recruiter for the past 5 years. At Resume.io, I share my experience, tips and the "secret" tricks to help you get a job. Do you have questions? Please send me an email via the contact form.