Q&A: Hide Employment Gap On Resume

Juliette Leufke

QUESTION: I desperately need your help. I am trying to become employed, but there is a gap in my corporate employment history, so it is difficult to become employed. I need your help with my verbiage so that I can work around the interview process in order to earn an income. What you would recommend?

Busy BusinessmanRESPONSE: Sounds like you might have more than one problem with your job search.

First, unless you have a good relationship with someone at the company, there is no “working around the interview process.” Thinking more positively about interviews will help you impress employers.

Interviews are an important part of the hiring process. You want an employer to set up a job interview so that you can get to know the company and about the position.

~~ Infographic: Job Interview Tips ~~

Next, if employers are not calling you for interviews, you are right to worry that your employment gap is a red flag. Many employers worry when they see a job candidate has not worked for several months or years.

Here are two things you can do so your resume highlights your skills and qualifications.

1. The typical chronological list of jobs will put a spotlight on your employment gap. Instead, change your resume format to functional or a combination format to de-emphasize the gap.

A functional resume shows details of your skills and how they fit the job.

work-diceA combination resumes highlights your skills and work experience equally.

Talk to a career adviser to help you decide which resume format is best for you.

2. Close the gap on your resume with other career-building experiences. List any activities, paid or unpaid, that show you have skills and experience relevant to your career area. This includes:

  • Volunteer activities
  • Participation in professional associations
  • Attendance of conferences or other industry events
  • Trainings, workshops and courses
  • Research projects

Some of these activities might be listed in the education section of your resume, some in your skills section, and some in your experience section.

Your resume is a marketing document that highlights you as the best candidate for a job. Think about what employers might think of your resume.

How do you know if your resume looks good? When employers are calling you to interview for your target jobs, you know your resume represents you well..

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Originally posted August 2013

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