How to Deal With A Resume Gap

July 11, 2013

Career Advice

how to deal with a resume gapThere it is glaring back at you. A six-month time period in which you were without work. Perhaps you had been laid off. Maybe you quit. Perhaps you cared for an ailing family member. Maybe you traveled. Regardless of what you did, it is true that a long-term stretch of unemployment could hurt your chances of getting hired. But if you’re confident and have the right strategy in mind, you may be able to turn a career break into just another title on your resume.

If you did any volunteer work or freelance work during your time off, you might be in the clear. Create a title and description that explains the projects you accomplished during this time — even if there’s only a few of them. And even if you didn’t get paid. Depending on your circumstances, like if you were laid off, this go-getter attitude can be a highlight of your interview. It’s a great example of how you turned a negative into a positive and proof of your go-getter attitude.

A period of time off can also be framed as a “sabbatical.” If you’re changing careers or were moving across the country, this could be an okay reason for your time spent unemployed. Be sure to have a detailed story — that hopefully includes some relevant volunteer or freelance work or even some classes. Basically, your time spent unemployed should have some sort of larger meaning that still added value to your career.

If you’re currently unemployed and the weeks are making you weary, be smart. Sign up with a temp agency. Volunteer. Get freelance work. Sign up for a class. Take on any projects that can help fill that gap on your resume while you’re searching for a new full-time opportunity. Who knows — your gap might become much more than just a transition.

Image by Hyun Chung/flickr.

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About Spectrum Brands Careers

Spectrum Brands is a global $5 Billion Consumer Products company headquartered in Middleton, Wisconsin. While you may not be familiar with the Spectrum Brands name, there is no doubt you will recognize some of our brands.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. How to Improve Your LinkedIn Profile Today | Spectrum Brands Careers Blog - August 6, 2013

    […] 2. Don’t leave anything to the imagination. Make sure each job title has an interesting description of your responsibilities and your accomplishments. And if there is any period of time you spent unemployed or on sabbatical, don’t leave a gap. Explain that time by citing any relevant freelance or volunteer work. Read our post on how to deal with a resume gap. […]

  2. Scary Career Situations — And How to Deal With Them | Spectrum Brands Careers Blog - October 10, 2013

    […] 1. You Have a Blaring Resume Gap. Whether you have a recognizable lag between two positions or you’re having difficulty securing another job currently, don’t worry about it. There are solutions. In fact, we wrote an entire post on how to deal with a resume gap. […]

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