gaps in your work history on your resume

Cover Letter + Resume Tips

Gaps in Your Work History

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Job Pixie   >   Cover Letter + Resume Tips   >   Resume Basics   >   Gaps in Your Work History

Writing your resume is a difficult task, what with having to prepare a powerful Career Objective, a Profile that sells your skills, and an accurate but positive summary of your work experience, qualifications and education. However, it can be even more difficult if you have gaps in your work history. The problem is that you can not simply ignore such gaps - you must address them directly - as otherwise employers may make incorrect, and even negative, assumptions about such gaps.

Here are a few tips for dealing with gaps in your work history:
  • Any gaps shorter than about 90 days do not need to be explain. It is not at all uncommon to take a break between jobs, and employers generally don't notice or care about such short gaps in a candidate's resume. However, longer gaps must be addressed directly in your cover letter, or the resume itself. A forthright and honest explanation of any large gaps in your work history, whether such gaps were because of professional or personal reasons, is much better than allowing an employer to make negative assumptions.

  • One common trick that some candidates try when applying for jobs is try to cover them up. For example, they might pretend one job ended later, or another job started later. Aside from the ethical qualms that this approach raises, it's a poor approach from a purely practical perspective too. The problem with dishonesty is that there is always a risk of being found out - the job application process is stressful enough without worrying about what an employer may discover through a background check, contacting your references, or by a surprise question during an interview.

  • Don't create gaps! Some people omit jobs from their resume if they don't fit with their Career Objective. It's much better to simply list the job, and explain the professional or personal reason why you took it.

  • Don't apologize! There are all kinds of reasons why people take time away from work, and many of them are good reasons. If you have had time away from work, there's no reason to be apologetic about it - it's much better to be positive. It may even be that your time away from work may actually benefited from your career - for example if you studied, took an educational course, or perhaps did some volunteer/community work,
Related Web Sites & Pages

Here are some other websites that may be of interest:
  • CareerAssist
    We offer affordable, easy-to-use cover letter and resume builder software and resume and cover letter critique services

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  • Resume and Cover Letter Secrets Revealed
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  • Sample Resumes
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Here are some other pages on this website that may be of interest:
Instantly post your resume on 75 career sites!

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