Employment Gap Resume Examples
Employment Gap Resume Examples – Your journey to discover your career path can be full of twists and turns. Sometimes, life circumstances can result in gaps in your work history. In this guide, we’ll teach you all about how to include and explain your employment gaps to keep your resume looking and sounding strong!
The general rule is to mention gaps only if they are very recent or extended over a long period.
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If you’re already back in the workforce and looking for your next job, you’ll likely avoid gap involvement.
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You should always try to reserve mention of employment gaps for your CV rather than your cover letter.
They can also describe the applicant’s career goals and why they would make a good addition to the employer’s team.
Bringing up employment gaps or focusing on your periods of unemployment won’t do your cover letter much favors.
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In fact, this can be a turn-off for employers looking for eye-catching information that makes them want to read the rest of the resume.
In some cases, there may be little or no way to mention the gap in a cover letter depending on the circumstances of the gap.
If you must mention the gap in your cover letter, try to focus on how you advanced your skills or found your passion while you were away.
When deciding whether or not to include an employment vacancy in a cover letter, you should ask yourself the following question:
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If not, then the cover letter is not the place to discuss your unemployment.
“I left the workforce from January 2017 – October 2018. I chose to take this gap in my employment to care for an ill family member as their primary caregiver. Thanks to the wonderful staff at a nursing home, I am now able to continue to further my career.”
Why it’s wrong: This example explains the reason for the gap. However, he fails to highlight any personal or professional growth that occurred during it.
“I became the primary caregiver for a sick family member from January 2017 to October 2018. During this time I worked closely with a medical team. This allowed me to improve my communication, teamwork and organizational skills.”
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Focusing too much on why you left the workforce will not allow you to highlight your most important characteristics to employers.
The key to effectively getting through this part of your resume is understanding how to explain and frame your gaps.
When you have to maneuver around a job opening, you never want to mislead or confuse the person reading your resume.
Here’s an example of how to use unpaid experience to explain an employment gap on a resume:
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May 2016 – January 2018 During this period I took a break from work. While I was away, I looked for additional opportunities to build my resume. I participated in volunteer work and completed a major personal project that led me on a new career path.”
Why it’s wrong: This example lacks specificity, thus missing valuable information. Furthermore, this type of information would be more appropriate in a separate volunteer work section.
Volunteer Experience Humane Society, Front Desk Volunteer May 2016 – January 2018 Completed an independently led project to improve the shelter’s digital database system.
By creating this separate volunteer section, there are also more opportunities to describe other volunteer experiences as well.
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Pro Tip: When describing any type of experience on a resume, you always want to use the most persuasive language possible. Use our list of 350+ action verbs to make your CV more effective. How should I format my CV if I have too many blanks?
There are two main methods of formatting your resume to avoid emphasizing the fact that you have more than one gap in your work history.
Editing your dates of employment will only work if your periods of unemployment were short and interrelated between the time of employment.
To modify employment dates, the key is to remove months and days from the dates.
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Here’s an example of changing your employment dates to distract from the many employment gaps:
Server, Dave and Buster’s June 28, 2020 – March 1, 2021 Description Front Desk Receptionist, Lee’s Dental Associates January 13, 2016 – December 9, 2019 Description
Why it’s wrong: These work experience records provide exact dates, making the duration of employment gaps all too obvious.
Server, Dave and Buster’s Mid 2020 – Early 2021 Description Front Desk Receptionist, Lee’s Dental Associates Early 2016 – Late 2019 Description
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The applicant in this example is currently in an employment gap, with their most recent job ending in March of 2021.
They have an additional gap between 2019 and 2020. By eliminating exact dates, these gaps are less noticeable.
Hybrid resumes are likely the best option for applicants dealing with multiple gaps in their employment histories.
These formats will allow them to focus more on their skills and talents, while also drawing attention away from their employment gaps.
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If you’re changing careers, you’ll want to show the work you’ve done to make the change.
This will often come in the form of showing examples of how you improved your skills during your gap.
Having gaps in your work history doesn’t have to be a death blow to your chances of getting a job.
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Ed is a co-founder of Easy Resume. His background in scaling teams at tech startups over the past decade has given him extensive experience and knowledge about how to hire top talent and build successful teams. He enjoys mentoring, coaching and helping others achieve their career goals. When he’s not writing career advice, he’s playing with his dog, Lilo, or going on long walks in upstate New York.
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