Managing Gaps in Your Resume

For a job seeker, one of the most difficult things to manage and discuss are gaps in a resume. The gaps we are discussing refer to six-plus months of extended periods of time without employment. In the current job market when a candidate’s resume demonstrates these extended periods between jobs, often prospective employers and recruiters will simply pass over the resume.

RX2 Solutions MUST preface the following section with one main point; throughout this article, RX2 Solutions does NOT encourage or support anyone to lie, fabricate, or embellish the truth.

Let’s say you have not worked in six, twelve, or twenty-four months; what do you put on your resume to “hide” those gaps, or what do you say to the hiring manager when they ask you about why you weren’t working?

  1. The key is to look back on what you did during that period of unemployment. Did you go back to school, have a baby, have some sort of medical issues, did you volunteer, or start-up you own company? If you did, mention it in your resume. It is not negative to say you were out of work, just put a positive spin on it, and talk about what you learned and how it helped you.
  2. You can also build upon your reasons. For example, volunteering could also be networking, and going back to school could lead to a career change.
  3. The key to gaps is delivering your reason why in a confident manner and making those gaps as beneficial as possible.

When you include this in your resume, format it to look like a job: include the dates and what responsibilities you had, what you were studying, and so forth.

If you are not doing anything other than “looking for a job” and it has been over 6 months, you might want to start thinking about doing something. You never know - it just might find you the next opportunity.

Two quick points about some things people do with gaps - which they never should:

  1. Do not fabricate employment dates. Your employment verification check will flag it.
  2. Do not say you volunteered, went to school, etc. if you didn’t. More times than not someone will know a person at the organization. They might ask you for references and so on.