As enlightening as the months you spent backpacking through Europe or time off between jobs may have been, the employment gaps it created on your résumé can raise some warning flags for your would-be employer. That is, if you let it.
Navigating through the tricky résumé gap question during your interview can make some people anxious, but it’s actually a very easy conversation to tackle. Stay calm and collected and follow these tips to explain those time periods to a hiring manager.
HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY
Instead of fabricating professional pursuits to cover your back or sugar-coating your way through those employment gaps, Business Insider suggested being completely honest. For one, if you’re caught in a lie with your prospective employer, you could be throwing away those work opportunities. Moreover, even if your dishonesty pays off in the short term, it could lay the foundation for an uneasy relationship with your new boss further down the road. Be genuine when you explain your employment gaps. Whether you took the time off for personal reasons, health concerns or you were just spending time searching for a job, the hiring manager will appreciate honesty more than a longwinded cover up.
SHOW YOU’VE STILL BEEN WORKING
You may not have been employed during your résumé gap, but that doesn’t mean you weren’t working. If you took classes, did volunteer work or even traveled during your time apart from the working world, sharing these events can be a big plus during the interview process, according to job resource Monster. Highlight the courses you’ve taken, share your freelance work or even talk about how your travels made you into a more well-rounded person. Providing some background on those experiences can show a hiring manager that you’re devoted to bettering yourself and improving your skills whether you were employed or not.
At the same time, if you’re currently in between jobs, you can take the opportunity to get started on some of these efforts sooner rather than later. Enrolling in computer training courses through MyComputerCareer can turn that would-be blank space on your résumé into one of your greatest strengths in terms of learning experience. Not to mention it can equip you with some of the skills IT skills and certifications your prospective employer may appreciate most.
RETOOL YOUR RÉSUMÉ
There are a lot of formatting tips you can use to downplay your time off as well, Forbes suggested. For example, you can rely on listing your previous professional pursuits, training and educational experience using only years instead of exact dates or months. If your time between jobs has only extended a few months, this could draw attention away from your résumé gap. At the same time, you can use other résumé styles to help cover up those periods. You can add an “achievements” section toward the top to list your greatest successes regardless of dates they occurred, or you can split your résumé into sections and list similar jobs such as “technology experience” and “teaching experience” together. This takes the onus off of chronology and can help mask gaps.
Students at MyComputerCareer can reach out to the professionals in the career services department to smooth over those résumé concerns. These dedicated experts can show you exactly how to construct your résumé, explain your career gaps during an interview and they can even assist you in finding a job. To learn more about classes built to give you a quick and effective understanding of IT, and help you start or accelerate your career in Information Technology, complete a career evaluation for MyComputerCareer.