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Handling Employment Gaps on a Resume

What to Do? What to Say?

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Employment gaps questions... On this page, you ask & I answer questions about how to handle a gap in employment on your resume.

Need answers to employment gaps questions?

Writing your resume when you've had a significant gap between jobs can be tricky... especially in today's super-competitive job market. The problem is that taking time off between jobs can make it look like you might be lazy... or an unattractive employee.

With the high unemployment rates these days, I'm not sure that employers should think that way any more. Lots of potentially skilled and top-notch employees are often going months between jobs now, just because there are far too few jobs for all the candidates. Nevertheless, there's still a good chance that employers could have a negative knee-jerk reaction to an employment gap.

So, your job is to portray yourself in the most positive light possible, so that you can forestall such reactions.

But, you're probably wondering, what's the best way to do that, given your unique situation? And that's why I built this page! Smile

But first, you might want to take a look at this page that talks about how using the right resume format can make a big difference in dealing with an employment gap (opens new page/tab)

That might answer some of your questions, but if not... feel free to come back here and peruse all the questions and answers...

We've Got Answers to Your Employment Gap Questions!

This is one of the most popular pages on the site and I've already answered most of the common questions about how to deal with employment gaps on a resume.

Please Note:

I am not currently accepting new questions here on the site. I'm sorry, but due to personal concerns I don't have time to answer questions in a timely manner any longer. It seems unfair to allow you to post questions if I'm not going to be able to answer them right away. So for now, I am suspending my "Ask the Expert" features.

However, there are already hundreds of questions here on the site. So I'm fairly certain you can find an answer here that will fit most any situation. You can certainly scan the category pages to look for relevant topics, but even quicker might be to use our Site Search function.

To do a search, just scroll up until you see the "Search This Site" box right above the menu in the left sidebar. Type in your issue and see what comes up.

I appreciate you visiting this page and I'm sorry I'm unable to offer the Q&A service at this time.

Other Employment Gap Questions

Click below to read other employment gap questions from visitors to this page, along with my answers. Clicking on the Comments link at the end of a question/answer page may yield additional feedback.

What is the best way to write an updated resume? 
A 5 year window of employment with too many companies (5 total). I have had a steady job for the past 5 years at the same company. However, starting in …

How do I explain a break to raise my child? 
Hi... I resigned from my job just over a year ago as I had no one to take care of my son who is now turning 3 in April. He was under full time care with …

How do I explain a two year gap due to a suicide in the immediate family? 
My bipolar husband suicided two years ago. Besides dealing with the stigma and grief that follows such a death, I have had to settle the estate from "hell", …

What's the best way to list my volunteer experience? 
I am looking to get into a policing job and have a lot of volunteer experience. I am wondering if I should just list events that I was a part of or explain …

How do I explain a 2 year break to raise my son and continue my education? 
Two years ago I had a child; and within that two years I was a stay at home mom. While being a stay at home mom; I started going to school to further my …

How do I show a work history gap? 
I'm 35 and have a wife and two kids. I have been a golf course superintendent for 13 years. I took a new job in March at a new course, it turned out not …

How to explain a break of 10 years after graduation? 
I did my bachelors in electrical engineering in India and Masters in MBA with Marketing as my specialisation. Haven't worked till now but after 10 years …

How can I account for 3 yrs of unemployment on my resume as I try to get back in the workforce? 
Hi... I have been unemployed for 3 years now and was wondering whether I need to write something in my resume to explain the gap? I've only had 2 jobs …

How do I explain I was let go due to downsizing? 
Did not do anything wrong. In fact, was well liked. But was let go at 64 years old as were other people (probably downsizing). Tried to retire, but, need …

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