There is no lie in the fact that your professional resume must look a comprehensive one while showcasing your career in a trail. Mostly when the hiring managers go through your professional resume, the first thing that they notice is your experience and skills. Though the career trail is the next important thing that they choose to go through, it has equal importance.
Though the hiring managers expect a complete visual resume writing from the job seekers, but they will not be surprised to see any gap in your resume. Many job seekers go for another level of qualification, try to accomplish new degrees and also take some time to balance their personal and professional lives- and trust me that is entirely alright.
But being a job seeker, you can’t go like “my life my rules” kind of an attitude, and you need to have enough courage to justify the importance of the gap. A well-described and truthful justification about the career gap in your professional resume helps you to get more opportunity to grab a great job. You need to know how you must explain any year gap in your resume.
There is no need to panic if you have any year gap in your resume, as this professional CV writing guide will help you turn your gap into a reason to create more career-building experiences.
1. Tell the truth:
Honesty is the best policy, and when it is about facing the flaws, you must stick into speaking the truth. The first thing that you need to remember is that having a gap in the professional resume is wholly alright and you don’t need to go to some immense or sensitive details like health issues, to explain it.
Telling the truth is the simplest thing as you don’t need to take many pauses and create random stories in front of the hiring managers.
Avoid resume writing mistakes like trying to extend your previous work experience to cover up the gap. The hiring managers will find that out during any background check. Lying about your career gap can make the gap stand out even more.
2. Be clear about the questions:
What is the utmost situation that you might need to face for having some year gaps? It is nothing but a few questions regarding the whats and the whys of the gap. On the other hand, when you leave so many years gap unexplained, there are more chances that it will create more questions in the minds of the employers and your professional resume can end up at the dustbin.
It is always better to show your career gap where it actually took place. If you have several gaps and periods of unemployment, you must hire resume writing services or choose a skill-based resume format. The skill-based resume formats allow you to demonstrate your experience without stressing much about the sequence.
3. Emphasize on the positive:
There can be many reasons for you to take a gap year or maybe several. But be sure that you focus upon the constructive activities you were part of doing those gaps. Ask your LinkedIn profile writing services to mention the productive activities in your profile too, which may include the volunteer work that you have taken up, can be any course that you were a part of for the betterment of your skills, it can be freelancing or even can be your work profile in abroad.
Draw the positive aspects of the year gap which have helped you to be a better person in both the ways; professionally and individually. Even if you have taken a career gap while suffering from some ailments or also you were taking care of someone ill, mention how that has made you a better and stronger person.
4. Describe your career achievements:
At the end of the day the hiring managers don’t only want to know where did you work and what you did, but they also want to listen to what have you achieved or accomplished in your previous job roles. Even though you have one or several year gaps, the hiring managers would love to know about the achievements that you have attained during those periods.
You can quantify your accomplishments and use bullet points to list down your achievements during the gap period.
Even though you have taken the career gap to learn something new like learning a new language or a new skill, don’t forget to list that down. Phrase your achievements in business terms for better results.
5. Explain the reasons for the gaps:
If you have taken the gap to learn something new or even the cause of the career gap is nothing but you wanted to explore the world with your friends, you must give the reason that how that helped you to grow professionally.
The online resume maker may help you to explain how it helped you to be close to new cultures, how you have learned to adapt to new challenges in unique circumstances and situations. List a set of skills that you have gained and attained during the period of the gaps and how you can use those in the job responsibilities that will be given to you.
6. Show your commitment to stability:
Having a career or year gap to your professional resume doesn’t mean that you are just not a competent professional who can make commitments.
If your gap year is very recent, then the hiring managers may think that you can be failed at keeping commitments. But you need to explain the carefully planned gap year and you also need to demonstrate that you are ready for responsibilities in your professional life right now. If your career gap was a few years back, then you also need to explain some events which have brought you renewed focus.
7. Structure your professional resume appropriately:
It is not about the information that you provide but how you structure them in your resume is all that matters. According to the career gap that you had, you can structure the information in your resume accordingly.
It is easy to obscure the gap of a few months by mentioning the years and not the dates in particular. You in person can explain the gap you had during that period, but your professional resume doesn’t need to carry the information.
You can obscure a long gap by explaining the achievements that you attained during the gap. For example, if you were in any foreign country and worked with some social cause, let your hiring managers know that how you have worked hard for raising funds and what all have you learned during that period.
Choosing a skill-based professional resume is another way to obscure a long or a short gap. Unlike the chronological resume format, you don’t need to mention your work experience in a trail in this kind of a resume format. Which is more comfortable to follow when you have career gap patches in your professional life.
8. Show your transferable skills:
The hiring managers don’t only look for academic based skills that you have achieved during your theoretical training period. To handle the job position given to you, you will also need to have practical and transferable skills along with the hands-on experience that satisfies the requirements of the position.
If you have a career gap and you have developed some transferrable skills during that period, then don’t forget to mention that to your professional resume.
Here are some of the skills that you can add to your resume:
If you had been on a trip to any part of the world, you could explain how you have developed your negation skills while haggling with the local market and the hawkers. Let your hiring managers know that you have learned that bagging sharp deals help a business to work better.
· Budgeting and planning:
This is another transferable skill that you can mention to your professional resume. It is undeniable that since you were not under the payroll of an organization during the period of your gap, you needed to plan for your personal budget. Explain how you have learned the planning and budgeting about your personal day to day finance and even when you were traveling.
Traveling and making new experiences consist of lots of interaction with different groups and people. It also helps you to overcome your language barrier and also elevate the level of your self-confidence. The intercultural skill that you have developed can be an excellent asset for your workplace skills too.
You need to adapt to new and unexpected circumstances when you travel. Adaptability to unique ambiances and situations is another skill that the hiring managers will look for in you. Your plans change rapidly when you visit and you learn to adapt quickly and easily to be able to deal, with those situations. Being flexible in any situation is a skill that you can mention on your professional resume.
9. Try to make the gap year relevant to the job you are applying for:
It is one of the best resume writing tips. If you have spent the time of the gap year learning new things and new skills, then you can take those skills to be the helping keywords for your resume. Go through the job posting that the hiring managers have put and try to alter your resume according to the job you are applying for. You can demonstrate that you have learned a new language or maybe new software to be able to apply for the job that you are doing now.
A gap year can come to anyone and everyone, but you need to learn how to spin the gap according to your comfort and which can also have some explainable details for the hiring managers to digest. First of all, you need to know about the 30 words to avoid in your resume and try to grab the attention of the hiring managers to the global perspective that you gained throughout the time of the year gap.
If it is difficult for you to deal with the year gap in your resume, you can always seek the help of a professional resume writer to make it possible for you.