With the nation’s unemployment rateas high as it is, it’s not unusual for jobseekers to have employment gaps on their resumes. The best job search advice on how to best handle these gaps? Be honest.
Don’t be tempted to lie about yourpast work experience as a way to cover up gaps in your resume. The odds are good that potential employers will uncover your attempts to hideemployment gaps. And when they do, you can bet that you won’t top their list of potential hires.
Instead, be prepared to honestlyexplain your employment gaps should you land an interview. You may havelegitimate reasons for taking time off. Maybe you left the career world for three years to spend time with your young children.
Maybe you returned to college full- time to earn a new degree. Don’t try to hide these breaks in your resume. Maybe the rough job market meantthat you simply weren’t able to land aposition during your employment gap.
Trying to sneak these employment gaps past hiring managers will not work. Hiring managers have seenplenty of resumes during these tough economic times so they know anemployment gap when they see one.
Instead, be sure to tell potential employers exactly what you were doing during these breaks to boostyour work skills. For instance, maybeyou worked as a freelance consultantduring the years in which you left a 9- to-5 job to raise your children. Mention this to potential employers and explain to them exactly what projects you took on for consulting clients.
Maybe during your long search for a new job you volunteered with anorganization in your field. Explain this to employers. Maybe you used your time off to attend adult education classes and pick up new technology skills. Again, this is a fact that you should share during your job interview.
Just because you can’t hide employment gaps on your resumes doesn’t mean you can’t make them less noticeable. For instance, if youworked at a company until January of 2010 and then didn’t find a new
job until December of that same year,it’s not wrong to state on your resume that you worked at job A until 2010 and landed work at company B in the same year. Just eliminate the specific months on your resume.
But the best job search advice of all? Don’t let an employment gap on your resume scare you away from applying for those jobs with which you knowyou are qualified. You’re far from alone in having holes on your resume. With the economy still staggering, employment gaps are something to which hiring managers are steadily becoming immune.
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