Got gaps in your work history? How do you explain them to potential employers? Career experts J.T. O’Donnell and Dale Dauten answer the following question from a reader... Dear J.T. and Dale, How do you handle gaps in your resume? I worked before I had my children, then did jobs that allowed me to be home with them, and even had my own business. I’m going to college for an accounting degree and look forward to working again, but I’ve gotten looks from interviewers about gaps in work history. - Cheryl The first thing you need to do is get in the right mindset, according to Dauten. “Look at the people you’re going to be competing for jobs with,” said Dauten. “Most of them have very little experience. They would LOVE to have gaps in their work history. They don’t even HAVE a work history!” Once you’ve done that, then you need to figure out the best way to present your experience to employers. The best way to do that is to connect the dots for them - make it easy for employers to understand WHY you have the gaps and WHY it’s not going to be an issue. “If you take all of those past jobs that you’ve held and pull out the pieces that involve accounting, you can connect the dots for that employer and show them that this is all part of a plan,” said O’Donnell. According to O’Donnell, doing this will give employers a lot more confidence that you know what you’re doing, and you’re just being very strategic about it. So, got gaps in your work history? You want to present a logical progression that makes it clear that all of that experience you have to offer, even if it has gaps, has lead you here for a reason. Want to ask J.T. & Dale a question? Email your question to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do you compensate on your resume for a gap in employment? Naturally, hiring managers want to see consistency; they want to see a work history that does not contain gaps. Things happen, though; there are personal and professional situations that sometimes come up – things that are beyond your control. Related: How To Mention Unrelated Work Experience On Your Resume So, what do you do if you have resume gaps? You probably won’t have the opportunity to explain it, especially if you have applied online or are submitting career documents via web-based or other anonymous means. How do you present yourself in a compelling manner even with the gap? Here are some tips:
There’s a lot of advice out there about how to address gaps in employment and how to avoid appearing like a job hopper on resumes, but what about individuals who have kept to one employer for a large chunk of their work history? Related: Gaping Gap? How To Plug Holes In Your Work History Employers looking at these types of applicants have general concerns, like whether the applicant is able to adapt to change, and whether any progress has been made in terms of building news skills and experiences that could beneficially apply to a new workplace. Resumes may be carefully scrutinized on those areas. Ensure your resume stands out and addresses these common concerns with the following tips below!