An employment gap is like having zits – almost everyone has zits, and everyone is embarrassed by them. Job seekers are going to extreme lengths on trying to figure out how to hide employment gaps on their resumes, and get really stressed out when they get called out during the interview. In this article you’ll learn some really cool ways to hide these gaps and show yourself in the best light.
Why do we stress employment gaps?
Looking for a new job is a stressful task, and for some, the stress really takes its toll. People get vulnerable as they believe they’re placing their fate into someone else’s hands, which makes them wired out of their mind. The vulnerability and the stress amplifies any and all insecurities a hundredfold. At such an unstable state, employment gaps – regardless of their length – might seem like the harbinger of their professional doom. One of the most common questions people have is, “how can I hide my employment gaps on my resume?”.
Why we shouldn’t stress employment gaps:
In all honesty, employment gaps are not what you should be worrying about. They don’t mean you’re lazy, or lack the immediate experience an employer is seeking, and they will never mean you’re unprofessional. There are countless reasons why people end up unemployed for a period of time, all of which can be valid. The most important thing is that you’re out there, looking for work, and are motivated to give it your all.
How to hide employment gaps:
People get really creative when they look for answers on how to hide job gaps on a resume. But be wary – most hiring managers know these tricks very well, and if they sense you’re trying to hide something – they’ll be onto you. And that can lead to an awfully awkward interview. Hiding employment gaps needs to be about you focusing on what’s right – your achievements, skills and knowledge. If you focus on these values, then you can organize your resume in a way that your resume gaps will remain nicely concealed. Here are three great ways to hide employment gaps on your resume:
1. Choose a functional resume style
Write a functional resume to hide employment gaps. A functional resume places focus on skills, rather than time spent at a job. Instead of listing jobs in a chronological order (which is considered standard), the resume’s body focuses on your abilities, such as programming, sales, or coaching. That way you can show the hiring manager that you have all the necessary skills and experiences to excel at the job you’re applying for. This style is usually used by people who either have career gaps, or are looking to completely switch careers. Hiring managers who see which skills you possess, won’t notice if you’ve been unemployed for a while.
2. Only list employment years on your resume, not months
Some people think that using a functional resume will raise a few red flags with the hiring managers, and they would rather stick to the traditional, chronological resume format. That’s perfectly fine – you can use them and still hide those nasty gaps – by omitting months from your previous jobs. This technique is used not only by people with employment gaps, but with people who have frequently been jumping from one job to another. Again, it’s important to know that a job gap is nothing to be ashamed of.
3. Hide employment gaps by listing volunteer work, too
One of the more common mistakes by job seekers is that they’re not aware what qualifies as work. Some think that it’s only work if you’re getting paid for it, which is why they omit important things like volunteering from their resumes. Don’t fall for that trap – whatever you did, regardless of your surroundings – if it helped you develop some skills that might be useful for your new position – list it! Hiring managers want to know more about you – what you did, when you did it and how that helped you grow as a person and as a professional. Trick to hiding job gaps on a resume is by listing volunteer experience.
Employment gaps are nothing to be ashamed of, and should not be feared. Your potential new boss will not see you as less worthy or less productive for it, and with the right approach, it can actually be turned into a positive thing. However, if you are really into hiding them, these are the best three ways to do it.
Always keep in mind – you’re not hiding your employment gaps because you’re ashamed of them – you’re doing it because you want the hiring manager’s focus to be on your skills and achievements, and not on the time spent doing something.