Let’s face it. The job market can be tough. Landing work in the gig economy sometimes feels like you’ve won the lottery.
That occasionally means people have long gaps between each job opportunity. There could also be other reasons you didn’t find employment right after you left one position. Maybe you decided to go back to school, or perhaps you were caring for a loved one. You might have needed time to take care of yourself.
While you may have a good reason for a gap in your resume, it’s not something employers like to see. So what should you do?
Liberty Staffing would like to provide you with some tips. We’ve rounded up five of the best ways to approach a gap on your resume. Give one of them a try the next time you apply for a job.
1. Group Freelance Work Together
If you worked many temporary contracts, or project-based contracts, with some gaps between them, it could make sense to roll them together into one entry on your resume.
While you might have worked for different clients during this period, the work may have been in a similar vein. For example, someone who worked as an Administrative Assistant at several different offices to cover parental leaves could bundle this experience together as one entry.
This can help you show that you were working on a regular basis, rather than letting employers focus on any gaps that cropped up between contracts.
2. Remove or Clarify Positions
It’s tempting to think of your resume as a complete biography of your work life. In some cases, it’s better to give employers the abridged version.
For that reason, consider removing a position or two, especially if you have many full time positions you worked at for short periods of time and they are not relevant to the position that you’re applying for.
You can also note and clarify on your resume that these short term positions were contract, freelance, etc. The last thing you want is to have employer’s think that you’re an unreliable worker because of the gaps on your resume. The time frame of a contract job is out of your control.
3. Invest in Your Professional Development
If you haven’t done much work in the field you’re pursuing, it can help to highlight the skills you do have, or show that you’re working towards developing them. Ask professionals in your target field for their recommendations and resume tips.
Check out free online courses to get started, or fill a work gap with an educational opportunity.
4. Highlight Unpaid Experience
If you worked in your chosen field as a volunteer, highlight that experience on your resume. It helps an employer see you remained active in the field, and developed important skills at the same time.
5. Highlight Your Skills with a New Format
If your work history is a little spotty, consider using a functional resume instead of the traditional, date-based format.
A functional resume is designed to put your skills front and center. While employers will still want to see your work history, the functional resume can help them overlook gaps to see why you’re still a great candidate.
Keep in mind that creating a functional resume requires a total overhaul of your resume. A functional resume may also make an employer wonder what you’re trying to hide. As a result, a functional resume should only ever be used as a last resort.
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