It’s hardly your fault that you were laid off and couldn’t find work for several months, but it’s no secret that employment gaps on a resume send red flags to potential employers. So what can you do to prevent the dreaded employment gap? Here are some tips.
1. Be proactive. While you’re seeking employment, try to find volunteer work in your field, or even charity work that isn’t in your field. Having some activity to put on a resume can be very helpful in showing that you’re willing to work and stay busy. Other things you can do include side jobs in your field, community college courses, certifications, and seminars.
2. Be sure to fill in the gaps on your resume. It sounds obviously, but any gaps longer than a few months should be included with an explanation for what you were doing during that time. This is where point number one comes in handy. If you’ve been proactive and have stayed busy with volunteer work or side jobs, you should have no problem explaining your employment gaps.
3. If you haven’t been proactive, still include the gaps and explain what you were doing. Even if you worked a completely unrelated job, be sure to list it.
4. Don’t lie. Lying about your employment history is not only unethical, but could lead to termination of employment if the truth comes out later on. A good way to explain a gap due to lay off or scarce jobs is to be truthful, yet brief and unapologetic.
Sometimes employment gaps are unavoidable, but a truthful and proactive approach can help employers see that you’re a hard worker, smart, and willing to stay busy.