In life, things don’t always go as planned — and your career is no exception to this rule. If you’ve been laid off for a while now or had to take some time off to deal with personal issues, your resume now has a glaring gap. If not properly handled, this can work against you, but it doesn’t have to be a roadblock.
Learn how to get ahead of the curve and keep your hiatus from holding you back.
4 Steps to Handle a Gap In Your Work History
Use a Functional Resume
Your resume is probably written in reverse-chronological form, with your most recent job listed at the top of the page and your first one at the bottom. However, this presentation isn’t conducive to your situation, so you’ll want to use a functional format instead. Rather than highlighting your job gap, this setup puts your skills front and center. This gives employers the chance to see your fit for the position first, instead of your employment gap.
Explain the Gap in Your Cover Letter
Trying to hide your break from the workforce will just make you appear sketchy, so tackle it immediately in your cover letter. In a couple sentences, address your employment pause and briefly explain the reason behind it. There’s no need to go into intimate detail, but shedding some light on the matter will put employers’ minds at ease.
Highlight the Positive Aspects of Your Hiatus
It doesn’t matter if you wanted to step away from the workforce for a bit or were forced against your will, self pity will get you nowhere. If you’re invited to interview for the job, you will be asked about your employment gap. Place a positive spin on it by explaining what you’ve learned in the interim. Maybe you earned a new certification that will boost your career or volunteered for a local nonprofit that helped you garner relevant skills — showing you were productive during your break will impress employers.
Display a Strong Desire to Get Back to Work
If the interviewer isn’t convinced you’re back in the workforce to stay, you probably won’t get hired. Make it clear your hiatus has left you relaxed, refreshed and eager to return to the workforce. Demonstrate enthusiasm by researching the company and explaining why you’re so excited about this specific opportunity. If you have the right qualifications and seem genuinely enthused to get back to work, your employment gap shouldn’t work against you.
PrideStaff Northern Kentucky wants to help you re-enter the workforce. Whether you’re searching for temporary, temp-to-hire or direct hire opportunities, we’ll connect you with a top tri-county employer searching for talent just like you. Contact us today to start your search!