Do you know how to explain a job gap on your resume?
Don’t mention your job gap in an objective statement. Objective statements don’t belong on a resume anyway. They show what YOU want, but it’s what THE EMPLOYER wants that matters. (There’s a great section to put at the top of your resume instead of an objective, which we suggest in Career HMO.)
Instead… List It Under Experience
If there’s a big gap on your resume, you have to list something to fill it. Companies might discriminate against you for having nothing to show for that period. Even if they don’t, they will still ask you about the gap. You’re better off explaining it yourself first.
Be careful though, because if you go on for too long about it, employers will be turned off. Sharing too many details will make it sound even more confusing if your reasons are already complicated. Keep it short, sweet and objective to get your point across effectively.
Why were you out? Were you raising a family? Were you caring for sick loved ones? Were you in school?
Whatever the reason is, make sure it is listed. That way, the employer will have something to ask you about instead of being suspicious of missing time. All they want to know is what you were doing, so one line on your resume should be enough to satisfy them.
Don’t try to explain a job gap in your cover letter! Just like a resume, a cover letter is not about you. It’s about what you can do for the employer. Unless you learned quite a bit from your job gap experience, then it’s not worth mentioning in a cover letter. Cover letters are supposed to be concise, and not include superfluous information.
Tell a story about how you’ve come to understand the power of that company’s product or service. You need to show your support for what they do and how they do it. Share how you’re connected to their mission, so they understand your importance to them. The more interesting a story you can tell them, the more connected they’ll feel to you before you even meet them. If it’s done correctly, you’ll have an interview because of it.
If you’re still having trouble with your resume, we can help. CareerHMO is a service for job seekers that offers hundreds of video and written resources, plus one-on-one, in-depth advice from our experts!
Enjoy this article? You’ve got time for another! Check out these related articles:
- How To Cover Employment Gaps On Your Resume
- Job Search: Working On Your Gap Year
- How To Create An Effective Resume Even If You Were Fired
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