A resume gap is considered the time between jobs which don’t state that you were working, or describes what you were doing.
There is really no way to justify gaps on resumes, but, there are some ways to work it around. If you have gaps during which you were taking classes, getting certifications, or the like it would help to place it to your profile.
The average job search typically lasts for 4-6 months so the gaps are okay if they aren’t too long. However, it becomes harder to explain anything over 9 months because you should have found something by then or taken another look at your decision making process.
Everybody understands what the past two years have been like. In fact, employers themselves realize that they are a major reason why searches are taking longer. As others have mentioned honesty is the best thing, so you should be open with interviewers if your reasons were other than classes or certificates getting.
For instance, if you worked a job from April 2002 to September 2004 and began your next job in December of 2004 and worked it until May of 2006, you can reference the jobs as such:
You won’t be lying doing this and it helps your resume look better. Of course, if asked, tell the truth. A lapse in employment can be normal, especially if you were laid off or took a break to continue education or start a family.
Better yet, bring it up if you’re going through your experience chronologically.
For example, say something like, “You may note that I did not work from 2002 to 2004. I took a personal leave to raise my children.”
Be kind and don’t delve into too many details. Don’t focus on the career gap – acknowledge it and let it go!
Below are a few tips for dealing with gaps in your employment:
- Be honest! Don’t try to hide the gap. Many people have prolonged periods between jobs. Don’t do this!
- Don’t apologize! If you had time away from work, there’s no reason to be apologetic about it – it’s a lot better to be positive. If you studied, took an educational course, or perhaps did some volunteer/community work, then it may be that you may actually benefited from it.
- Make your resume gap a non-issue! List directly on the resume what you did during the time between jobs.
- De-stress resume gaps with a functional resume! Resume gaps are clearly seen in a chronological resume, the classic resume type that details your work history over time. Using a functional resume emphasizes your skills and achievements over the aspect of time.
- Simply avoid resume gaps! By job searching intelligently so that you don’t need to search longer than it’s required. Get your job search skills improved before you need them.
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