Resume gaps can cause a lot of anxiety and worry for job seekers. There are a variety of reasons professionals have gaps in their resumes. Whether it’s time off to care for a family member, travel, raise children, or just trouble finding suitable work, explaining these gaps can be intimidating. However, it’s important to note that you are not alone in this struggle. Many professionals have gaps in their resumes for a variety of reasons.
Let’s look at how to creatively and honestly fill resume gaps for your next job interview.
The key to filling resume gaps is approaching the situation honestly and creatively. Focus on your strengths and qualifications first and foremost. The worst thing you can do is try to hide these gaps.
Hiring managers will notice these gaps immediately; even if they don’t ask you about them, they will wonder about them. Rather than allow them to assume the reason, it’s best to address the gaps head-on and explain them honestly and positively.
No matter the reason for the gap in your resume, there is a way to put a positive spin on it. Turn the negative into a positive and show that you are a well-rounded candidate with valuable experiences, even during your time off from regular employment.
For example, if you took time off to raise children, speak to your new expertise in time management, patience, budgeting, and multitasking. If you were traveling, highlight the cultures and ways of life you witnessed and experienced. Above all, explain how your experiences will help you build relationships with colleagues and clients successfully.
Regardless of the gap in your resume, be honest, address it, and make it positive.
Let’s dive into explaining gaps in resumes in more detail. If you’re struggling with how to explain resume gaps, try to use them as an opportunity to show your personal and professional growth. Do not view your gaps as a weakness, nor allow others to. Instead, approach this hiring hurdle as an opportunity to demonstrate your resilience and adaptability.
Here are some helpful ways to use resume gaps to your advantage in the hiring pool.
Highlight personal development: Perhaps during your break, you took time to travel, volunteer, or learn a new skill. Highlighting these experiences on your resume shows that you value personal growth and are motivated to develop yourself.
Show professional growth: Did you take time off to care for a family member or start a business? Whatever the reason, use this experience to showcase your leadership skills, decision-making abilities, and commitment to personal and professional development.
Highlight the transferable skills you've gained: If you've been out of the workforce for a while, it's natural to feel like you lack specific skills. However, many skills are transferable and can be gained in various settings. Make sure to highlight these skills on your resume and show how they can benefit the company you’re applying to.
Remember, gaps in your resume are nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, they can be opportunities to show your resilience, personal growth, and a new skill set. Be honest about what you did during that time, be positive, and don't make excuses.
Ultimately, it’s important to use this time to your advantage. Show the employer why you're the right person for the role with your on-the-job resume and life experiences outside the workplace.
For more information on getting hired, integrating into a new job, and building a successful career in the administrative field, check out what we offer here at ASAP. We have various tools and resources readily available to help you and your colleagues grow.
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