Overcoming Employment Gaps - July 5,20160 comments

One of the most common concerns that job seekers have about their resume is how to explain gaps in employment that last for longer than a month. Whether or not you have a reason for it (medical issues, a family emergency, traveling, etc.) it can be nerve-wracking to think that an HR professional/Recruiter is not considering you for a particular role because of your gap in employment.

What many people do not know, is there are many ways to construct your resume to show you are self-motivated and eager to get back into the workforce.


Use time off to take courses related to your career goals; many universities and colleges offer low-cost continuing education courses for people who are looking to learn new skills or brush up on old ones. You can take everything from courses to improve your emotional intelligence and negotiation skills to beginner web design courses. Not only will this keep you keep busy and motivated while searching for a new role but it will also add valuable skills to your resume that may make you a more attractive hire. Employers are looking for people who are adaptable, open to change, and driven; taking additional courses and learning new skills will show that you have a desire to grow and improve yourself.


Obviously this is a tried and true method for entry level employees to gain some experience before joining the workforce, but what about people in the middle of their career? Volunteering can be a great way to fill your time between jobs while showing your next employer that you care about community involvement and working as a part of a team. There are numerous organizations looking for people to participate in a one-time project or ongoing volunteer efforts.  Volunteering can be a continuous effort once you have a found your dream job.


A quick google search for networking events in your area will most likely pop up with numerous groups that hold regular events for like-minded professionals to meet and talk about opportunities and challenges. You can join a group that caters to your career goals or reach out to a group that brings people from different professions together to network, pass along referrals, and talk about common challenges. Not only will this keep you up to date with industry trends, but you may also find your next job through the people you meet. If you live in an area without professional meet-ups or your chosen career path does not have one, is a fantastic resource to find people with similar goals and interests who get together on a regular basis.


Although there are a multitude of things you can do while unemployed, these options will not only keep you occupied and give you something to look forward to, but they can also be added onto your resume to show potential employers that you occupied your time off with something of value. Speaking about your volunteer experiences, or the new skill you learned in a course will come off much better in an interview than simply saying you were unemployed for a number of months.


And lastly do not give up on your job search, get up every morning with the focus on being proactive and productive in your efforts whether it be attending a networking event, researching potential opportunities or searching out another way to improve your skill set.

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