Gaps in employment on your resume can be very worrying, and there really is something to worry about. Not being employed and having gaps in your resume is a common issue.
The thing to worry about is the big holes gaps put in your resume. The gaps in employment create blank spaces that do need to be filled, particularly if they’re large spaces.
Some people write their resumes very negatively, like they’re apologizing for the usual gaps that occur in everyone’s employment. You really don’t need to do that. Ironically, job candidates worry more about gaps in their resumes than most employers.
All the employers need to know is whether you can do the job. They’re only interested in gaps in your employment if the gaps seem significant. A gap of a few months isn’t really that critical.
Keep the gaps in perspective, too, when writing your resume. If you were out of work for reasons like caring for a family member, raising a family, health reasons, or similar real life unavoidable issues, that’s nothing to be ashamed of. It happens to everyone at some time or another.
Managing gaps in employment
Significant employment gaps send a confusing message. It’s necessary to clarify the gaps with useful, straightforward information. Also, remember that you were obviously doing something during the period of the gaps. You may even have been doing something which relates to the job you’re applying for, like an internship, volunteer or community work, or similar activities.
Upgrading your resume is another useful option. If you’re using an old-style resume, you may benefit from upgrading to a more modern resume format. Some resume writing formats are also very helpful in managing gaps. A traditional resume, with its strong emphasis on a work history, may be an own goal. If you use a functional resume, skills based, you may require less space devoted to the employment history. (In practice, employers care more about skills and experience, anyway.)
Returning to the workforce? Things you need to show on your resume
One very common cause of gaps on resumes is returning to the workforce after a life event or sabbatical. This information needs a little managing. Simply define the activities of your period of absence, briefly, but clearly.
As a matter of fact, this type of gap in your employment record is only a problem if you don’t also show that your skill sets are up to date. Employers are more likely to worry that you’re unfamiliar with current market environments than about a gap in your work history.
Training and gaps in your employment record
Training is a very useful asset on your resume to address gaps on your employment history. This type of gap is seen very positively by competent employers who will recognize that your training is also related to upgrading your skills.
If you’d like more information about managing gaps in your employment record, see this link for more expert analysis.