How to Deal with Time Gaps in Your Resume

Sep 17, 09 How to Deal with Time Gaps in Your Resume

The “recession is likely over,” stated Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on September 15, 2009.  Well, tell that to the millions of people still unemployed from the fallout of the economy.

You may have been unemployed for a couple of months, try 3 or 6 months.  Maybe even a year.  You may have even taken some temp jobs for supplemental income.  If the “recession is likely over,” then you must revise your resume.  You want to be ready when the job opportunities open up again, but how do you deal with the time gaps in your resume?

Yes, employers are aware of the recession.  Yes, employers are aware that jobs are scarce.  However, employers are also aware that while you were not working, you could have used that time to season your skills.  So, did you?

If you landed a non-paid internship, completed a contracting job, or began an entrepreneurial venture, then this time gap should be easy to fill.  However, if none of these apply to you, then the following can also be helpful ways to explain time gaps.

For the months that you were unemployed, state the reason(s) why.  If you were laid off, then explain that your “previous company experienced hardship that resulted in 60% employee reduction.”  You can also include that during this time, you focused more on helping your church, organized community events, or volunteered in a hospital.

You may be wondering, “Well, what does this have to do with my search for another accounting position?”  Directly, it doesn’t.  However, it lets the employer know that you were not a couch potato while you were searching for work (at least you don’t want to let the employer know that aspect of your search).

Because you were active at something, that gives the employer confidence in your ability to remain active no matter the situation.  Even your activity outside a workplace, especially during a recession, can indicate your potential activity within a workplace.

All in all, identify the things you are doing while unemployed, and place them in your resume.  Conveying an impression of activity despite the economic downturn is crucial to you landing that coveted interview.

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1 Comment

  1. Straight to the point! Thanks!

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