The Break Room

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How to Handle a Resume Gap

Feb 2, 2015, 15:43 PM by User Not Found

It's not uncommon to have some type of resume gap throughout your career. Whether it lasts a few months or a couple of years - sometimes it just happens. Common reasons for a resume gap include layoffs, a lengthy illness, family care or furthering your education. While many resume gaps are unavoidable, the following tips will help you leap over that gap, rather than fall into it.

Don't Run or Hide

Be honest about your employment gap. If you lie about it on your resume or in your interview, it will likely come back to haunt you. Future employers will be looking into your background and verifying your employment history before they extend you an offer, so honesty is the best policy. Your cover letter offers a great opportunity to briefly explain the reason for your gap. Have an honest statement about your resume gap ready if the question comes up in an interview. Not only should you state the reason for your employment gap, but also what you have done during that period. Which leads to...

Bridging the Gap

Be proactive during your recent resume gap. Employers will want to hear about what you have been doing in your gap period and your response shouldn't be "catching up on my favorite shows on Netflix." Try getting involved in constructive activities that will help enhance your resume and keep your skills sharp. Pursue relevant volunteer opportunities, get involved in your community or take a class. You can include this experience on your resume as you would any other past positions. This is also a good time period to pursue any consulting opportunities or temporary positions.

Think Positive

Above all, it's essential to maintain a positive attitude. Employers understand that careers can sometimes have detours and roadblocks. They will be impressed to see that you have used your time off wisely to continue growing your skills and to explore other opportunities. In your cover letter and interviews, show your enthusiasm about reentering the workforce. Positivity and perseverance through adverse situations are highly sought after skills for employers and will help you land on your feet in the end.