Writing a resume can be a particularly stressful part of looking for a job. You have to write your resume in a way that is geared toward the job that you are applying for, which means possibly having more than one version of your resume at a time. You have to be able to talk about yourself in a way that maximises your skills and your personality without looking like someone who is arrogant and loves themselves too much!
One of the hardest part of resume writing? Explaining gaps in employment. In the economy that we are currently living in, gaps in your work history can be typical. With people finding themselves in a position where redundancies are rife, gaps are common and yet very hard to disclose when you’re aware that companies view employment gaps in a negative way. There are a lot of very legitimate reasons for having a gap in employment, and unless you got fired from a job because you rinsed the company finances and now have a criminal record, your employment gaps can be fairly easy to explain. Below, we have three of the most common reasons for a gap in employment and how to explain it to your prospective employer.
Family Planning. A lot of people take time off to have a family, and there is nothing to be ashamed of about it. Don’t try to embellish the experience by making up bizarre job titles for yourself. Simply state that you invested your time in raising your children. A lot of skills are learned during the course of staying at home to raise a family, but the challenge is that your skills in the workplace need to be fresh. Consider taking some refresher courses before you apply for work again, so that you can show employers that you are ready.
Sick Leave. You shouldn’t go into too much detail when you are talking about a period of time off work to recover and rest from illness or injury. Your interviewer doesn’t need to know about your experience with Lane & Lane LLC, Personal Injury Firm, nor do they need to know about your car accident that you had. All they need to know is that you took time to recover from a physical injury and you couldn’t go back into working with your old company.
Education. Some people – even college graduates – see the merits in increasing their knowledge to gain more experience elsewhere and even expand their salary band. No one will be able to fault you for taking time off to learn a new skill and have a change of career. Talk about how your previous employment gave you the chance to work with others and learn how to be an effective team player and you’ll have them eating out of your hands!
Interviews can be tough, but you are tougher. Own your employment gaps and you won’t have anyone lacking confidence in you!
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