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Resume Strategies to Fill Gaps in Employment

Resume Strategies to Fill Gaps in Employment

ChainGap If you have a gap in your employment history, you may have concerns about how to explain this on your resume.

Keep in mind that many people step away from the workplace each year to raise children, care for ill/aging family members, return to school, recover from an illness/accident, or for some other reason. So the good news is that there is less of a stigma attached to this than there used to be.

It’s possible that you may not even need to explain the gap. For example, if you were away from the workforce from February 2006 to October 2007, you can de-emphasize the gap by listing years of employment (vs. months and years).

But if the gap spans multiple years, and especially if the gap has occurred within the last five years, then it may need to be addressed on either the resume or the cover letter. Employers like to see the work chronology, and may wonder what you were doing if large gaps are present.Serving as the primary caregiver for a family member or taking a sabbatical to pursue a degree are valid explanations for a gap.

You can also fill this time period by showcasing any volunteerism, consulting, or self-study you completed. Treat this experience just as you would a paid, full-time position, and try to include examples of key contributions you made. For example, if you helped with a school fundraising drive, mention how your efforts were instrumental in meeting or exceeding the giving goal. Be sure to emphasize skills and accomplishments that are relevant to your current career objective.

Best wishes for job search success!

Karen Hofferber

Senior Resume Writer, ResumePower.com