Having periods of time when there has been no employment in your past can be troublesome when it comes time for a resume update.
What do you do when there are gaps in your work history? Can you make unemployment more attractive on a resume?
There are several ideas that can be used when it comes time to update that resume.
During the time that you are unemployed, volunteer or have some type of continuing education in the job field. That way it is still going toward experience, whether you are paid for it or not. Any type of community work or consulting will work too. Keep good records so that you can use this to your advantage.
Prove Your Worth
If there is a large period of time lapse between jobs, make sure your hiring manager can see that you are still up-to-date on events and innovations in your field. Keep active and make sure that you’re not obsolete. This can be done as simply as keeping up certifications, taking online classes (even free ones contribute to knowledge), and staying active in job field community projects.
Readjust the Format
Another stealth way to make a resume appear better and avoid short-term job lapses is to readjust your resume format. Instead of putting the month and year of your jobs, just add the year, that way small absences that are under a year will not be “seen”.
Use the Cover Letter
Having a cover letter and using it to make sure you explain job hopping can certainly downplay the gaps in your resume. Job hopping isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially when they are short term jobs that are temporary. Explaining temp jobs in a cover letter will alert your hiring manager to understand why there seems to be more job hopping than what was actually happening.
Start off With Qualifications
Make sure your resume will lead off with a Qualifications section so that you are stepping out on the right foot before getting into anything about job hopping or periods of unemployment. This way they see you in a positive light that may carry through the resume instead perhaps starting off on a sour note.
Have Reference Letters
Finally, if you have a couple of good reference letters from former bosses, this can help lower the risk a hiring manager may feel in hiring you. Good references from former bosses can also help them not worry about a few lapses in work history.
So there are ways to help a resume look more attractive to potential job prospects when you’ve had these lapses in employment.
Just remember to include everything that could be spun to your advantage.
About the Author: Tina Samuels writes on small business topics and home improvements such as a roof replacement.