3 Tips to Handle Resume Career GapsNov 20th, 2009 | By Bill | Category: Interviewing, Resumes
First things first: anyone who’s spent a considerable amount of time working professionally will have gaps in their resume. It’s a natural by-product of tackling new career opportunities, continuing education, and/or personal growth. The mistake made by most candidates is ignoring these gaps and hoping a recruiter/hiring manager won’t notice. THEY WILL, and with no details addressing it on your resume, will assume it to be a dormant period. Here’s how to effectively manage work gaps, and keep it from being a negative:
1) BE UPFRONT ABOUT CAREER GAPS.
Ignoring a period in your work history over 2-3 months will instantly be noted by recruiters/hiring managers. Create a “Career Note”, integrated directly between positions, that addresses it. Be ACTIVE when describing what you did, and stress RESULTS. For example, if you took Continuing Education classes, include mention of it along the lines of, “Increased professional capabilities through proactively taking classes in…” Keep it short and to the point.
2) DON’T BE AFRAID TO GET PERSONAL.
If you took a break for personal reasons, title the period a Personal Sabbatical and briefly describe it. The key here is BREVITY: you want to acknowledge the time period without drawing attention away from your work history. Avoid negative details such as a death in the family, illness, etc.
3) BE PREPARED TO GO INTO FURTHER DETAIL DURING THE INTERVIEW.
In essence, a career gap functions as a mini-position in the eyes of most recruiters/hiring managers. As such, you should prepare to answer specific questions regarding that period. Accumulate as much positive data as you can, and practice beforehand. A career gap can be an opportunity to demonstrate versatility and strength in the face of changing circumstances.
Anish Majumdar is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Owner at http://resumeorbit.com. 95% of clients report a significant increase in interviews within 30 days, and all work comes backed by a 100% Satisfaction or Money Back Guarantee (in writing).
Please submit your existing resume (as an attachment) to firstname.lastname@example.org for a FREE CRITIQUE spanning structure, language, and content.
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