Candidates who have been unemployed for a long time are often afraid to hand in their resumes for fear of not having a chance against competitors.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. After all, you don’t have a hole the size of the Grand Canyon on your professional resume. Of course, some employers might think you’ve been taking more breaks than a 90’s rock band; however, there are several more coherent reasons to explain this period of inactivity.
Perhaps you were travelling, raising a child, volunteering, caring for a sick friend, or returning to school. There is always a way to turn things around in a positive way.
You may have been looking for some free time to take courses, work as a freelancer or explore other countries – all of which can make you an even better candidate for the job. Get the professional assistance from Resume Builderr.
3 tips to Make Job-break period Less Obvious on a Resume
If the period of inactivity in the professional environment is still recent (from 6 months to 1 year), consider these strategies to make it less evident and central in the document.
- Use dates in years to cover up gaps: When mentioning the dates on your resume, you don’t need to mention the exact month and year when writing about a position you held for at least more than a year or if your position extended for a long time. For example, you could include dates like “2014 – 2016” (instead of June/2014 – Oct/2016). But, if your next job started in Jan 2017, you might list it as “2017 – till date,” which makes the gap being a jobless much less obvious. If you are applying for another job application, you should be more specific. You will most likely be asked about the dates of your previous jobs during an interview, so you must be ready to answer accordingly.
- Remove a job from your resume: You don’t need to mention all your work experience, especially if you’ve been in the job market for a long time.
It is acceptable to limit the years of experience you include in your profile to fifteen years when looking for a managerial or specialist position and ten years when looking for other positions.
- Use the cover letter to explain the no-work period: Use the cover letter to explain the no-work period on your resume.
When you have job gaps that don’t fit your resume, like volunteering, studying or freelancing, you can use your cover letter to explain them. For example, if you took a break to take care for an elderly parent, a sick relative, or something else, briefly mention the reason for leaving work in your ready-made cover letter.
Tips for explaining the no-work period on your resume
Even if you’ve had to leave the workforce for personal reasons, having been laid off or quitting your job, you can still write your resume or go into your interview with the right mindset.
Count on a few carefully crafted responses, and you still have every chance of being seen what a great candidate you are.
Here’s the best advice for you to do well with employers!
Whatever the reason for your time away from work, ethics dictate that honesty is always the best policy.
Maintain your integrity throughout the selection process and demonstrate it. Jobs come and go, but is known for being sincere can last a lifetime.
Especially in a job interview, be honest and charismatic, don’t be afraid to say, for example, that you spent a good part of your time taking care of some mountains of clothes or changing dirty diapers.
No matter why your resume is lacking, you can always find value in it. During the “odds” of life, we always gain a handful of new skills acquired during the off period or a perception of what delights us as professionals.
There is often a way to frame jobless resume periods as times of personal and professional growth rather than just downtime.
Stuttering at this time is a shot in the foot! Just as you should be prepared to discuss your past positions, employers will ask about your time out of the workforce, so be ready to deal with that.
If you’ve taken a gap year and travelled the world, share your experiences with your employer. At the very least, they might find comfort in knowing that you’ve ‘been there, done that’ and aren’t taking off any time soon to travel the world again. After all, successful people just needed to recharge once in a while.
Not having the answer on the tip of your tongue can burn you out. Sometimes you need to take a break to come back refreshed. Communicate persuasively, focusing on skills gained during this period.
Don’t leave your resume to chance. Even if you think it’s okay, it’s worth asking someone to take a look and offer feedback.
While discussing how you became unemployed, especially if you were laid off, might make you uncomfortable, don’t panic. Periods with a job on the resume are more common than candidates think.
Don’t let the gaps distract from the fact that you’re qualified and ready to take the job.