The layoffs in the market created by the recent economic breakdown has made one thing clear, there is no certainty for job seekers in today’s privatised world. It is not easy for a fresher to get jobs in a condition where the companies are looking for cutting down the labour force. Therefore, if you experienced a time gap in your career due to corporate downsizing or due to any other personal reasons, the reasons need to be put across clearly in any job interview you attend. If you have additional gaps between two jobs in your resume, then you should be prepared to explain the reasons for the break in continuity and the things you did in that period of time. The gap in your career might turn out to be a negative aspect in the process of your recruitment only if you are not able to provide a convincing explanation to the recruiter. By questioning you on this aspect of your CV, the recruiters actually test your confidence, self belief and ability to create opportunities. Go through these tips to explain employment gaps and prepare yourself to answer the big decisive question.
How To Explain Employment Gaps
Prepare a strong, well-drafted cover letter with your explanation for the gap in your employment history. Provide a legitimate reason and explain it articulately in the cover letter so that the employer can have a fair idea of your employment history and the reason for the gaps in your professional life. Make sure that you make your cover letter sound confident and convincing, indicating the good that came out of the time gap.
Use A Functional CV
Your CV should project more of your positive aspects rather than the negative ones. Make your resume functional by filling it with your skills, abilities, achievements and some art that you have mastered. Your CV should cover up the dates of your employment and offer just the skills and talent that any employer looks for in a prospective employee. Also, make it a point to mention the name, location and the line of business of your recent employer on top of the list of experiences in your functional CV.
Use Year To Year Format
One of the ways to cover up gaps is to stick to the year to year format and not mention dates in the month to month format. If you are currently in a job where you have spent few years already, mentioning your experience in a year to year format would add a lot of credibility to your resume and present you in a very stable light. But be prepared with the gap explanation as the recruiters might want to know the exact dates — and if they do ask you then you must not be unprepared or they might just think that you were trying to conceal information.
Be honest about the time gap you had in between your employment. Do not be defensive and do not consider it to be a bad decision to take some time off from your professional life. Be confident of your decision and present the positive that came out of the break which you took. Talk about the new opportunities that came your way in this time gap and also mention the benefits you received out of them.
Do mention the things you did and all the work that you were involved in when you were unemployed. You might have done some freelancing or some consultation work, you might have even been involved in some voluntary social service activity. Refer to all these experiences in the interview when the question of your time gap between employments comes up.
Use Formatting To Downplay
One of the simplest ways to de-emphasize the time of your unemployment is by changing the format in which the CV is presented. For e.g. you can change the font of the text and can even use ‘bold’ for some texts in order to highlight an important fact. You cannot stop the employer from going through your entire resume, but emphasizing few aspects in the resume will definitely downplay the impact of the gap in their minds.
You might have felt like taking some time off from your work to try out something that interests you or you might have been the target of bad economic conditions. Whatever might be the reason, it is important on your part to know how to explain gaps on jobs in order to get your point across to the employer.