Blog Employment

4 Things You Can Do When You Have Glaring Gaps or Issues on Your Resume

applicant holding resume in hands while being interviewed by employers

When you’ve been unemployed for an extended period of time, it can be scary to reenter the workforce. We all know that potential employers are going to question the lapse, and it can really play on your nerves.

But if you handle it properly, a lapse in employment may not have any impact on your employability.

1. Focus on Credentials

Many moms face the challenge of reentering the workforce after an extended time off to raise children. But that leaves them in a situation where they have to explain the gap. And while everyone understands what goes into making this sort of decision, there are still a few things to overcome. If you’ve been out of work for a year or more, employers are going to want to know that you’ve stayed up-to-date with the latest trends and credentials in your industry.

So before you reenter the workforce, make sure you’ve brushed up on everything you need to do your job in the current environment. This is important in every industry, but it’s especially important if you work in tech or if your job is heavily tech-reliant.

2. Don’t Ignore Them

The worst thing you can do with a gap in employment is to ignore it. You might want to ignore the gaps, but your potential employer will not. Actually, that’s one of the first things people look for when they scan resumes. They’re going to look for your education and employment qualifications, and then they’re going to check the dates to see whether you’ve had any employment gaps.

Be prepared to address them in your cover letter and in the interview. Even if you write the reasons why you were out of work, you can bet any potential employer will have questions. Be prepared to talk about your employment gap in detail.

3. Add Some Interest

If you ever find yourself in a situation where you’re unemployed for an extended period, keep your life interesting. Employers love to see that you were learning and growing in your time off, but they also enjoy seeing life experiences that could make you a more well-rounded employee. Maybe you took time off to travel the world. Or maybe you spent all your free time volunteering for a cause that’s close to your heart. If you can show that you kept busy during the gap with some very interesting activities.

4. Address it in Your Cover Letter

If you ignore your employment gap in your resume and/or cover letter, it will almost definitely cost you an interview (especially in a competitive market). So, you’re definitely going to want to say something about why you were unemployed for an extended timeframe. If you need some help, you can use an online resume builder to craft the resume, and you may want to consider adding what you did within the gap.

Add the reason for your employment gap to your cover letter as you would add the reasons why you’re perfect for the job. It’s not something you should be ashamed of, so don’t present it that way. Instead, talk about all the amazing things you did and the opportunities you had while you were on an employment break. Make it interesting to read, and there’s a good chance you’ll get that interview.

And once you get your new job, employ some forward-thinking. You’re going to want to remain at this job for a few years, if at all possible. You need to stay in control at work and avoid getting wrapped up in any conflicts.

Just because you had an employment gap doesn’t make you unemployable. If you address the gap and spin it as something positive (or as positive as possible), you’ll increase your chances of landing a great job.

For more great career tips, check out the other blogs on Career Geek.