You Can Overcome a Gap in Your Career

 

20% of JobStep customers have a 6-month to 2-year gap in employment. They still get interviews and offers through the JobStep program.

 

Here’s how:

Step 1: On your resume, show how you’ve used in-demand skills from freelance, volunteer work, or online classes.

Employers do not care about gaps as long as you show that can you kept up the pressure, pace, interpersonal and software skills of the workplace. So, for example, if you volunteered for your child’s PTA to run large fundraisers, make sure you list the software you learned and the size and scope of the fundraiser (number of invites, number of attendees, amount of revenue & costs).

Most employers also don’t care whether your previous experience was full-time, part-time, contract, or volunteer. Experience is experience.

Step 2: On your resume, highlight the most relevant and most recent work experience.

Recruiters spend 6 seconds on your resume. They might not notice the gap if they see you have the skills they’re looking for.

Step 3: Don’t call attention to your career gap.

Again, recruiters only spend 6 seconds on your resume. Use these tricks to de-emphasize your gap.

  • Start your resume with the most relevant experiences.
  • You can mask career gaps by showing years rather than months on your resume.
  • Add volunteer and freelance work to your professional work section. You don’t need to call out that you were a volunteer or that work was contract work.

Step 4: During your interview, own your gap.

We love these tips from the WSJ.

  • Don’t apologize for your career gap. You have a life; live it how you want and have to.
  • Be ready to show how you kept up with industry trends and technology.
  • Focus when interviewing on what you hope to contribute in the future.
  • Be prepared to show that you’re ready to perform under pressure.
  • Project high energy and interest to ease any doubts about your readiness.