The good news? You’re an exceptional candidate. You have top-notch skills, years of experience, and impeccable references.
The bad news? You also have a gap in your work history.
Whatever the reason for it – a layoff, personal or professional reasons – a gap in your résumé is a potential red flag to a recruiter. It can call into question your reliability and focus, and potentially knock you out of contention for the job.
Are you doomed? No! But you do need to develop a proactive plan for addressing that résumé gap. Use these tips from A.R. Mazzotta Employment Specialists:
If your employment gap is significant, consider changing your résumé format to avoid being instantly screened out. A hybrid or combination format may be best for you because it presents your abilities first – not the chronological timeline of your employment history.
A recruiter will undoubtedly want to know why you left and what you did during your time off. Prepare a concise, candid explanation for the gap. If you don’t give a clear reason, your interviewer may make incorrect assumptions about your sincerity, job performance, or work ethic.
Even if your last boss was a terror, never say anything negative about him to a potential employer. Doing so will only reflect poorly on you. If you make disparaging remarks about a former employer, your interviewer will logically wonder if you might bad-mouth his company the next time you’re hunting for a job. Try to find a way to turn your negative experience into a plus for your prospective employer.
In and of itself, a gap on your résumé is not a reason to reject you. Lying about why the gap exists, however, is. In today’s economy, unemployment happens for a variety of reasons – not all of which are under your control. So if you were laid off, be honest about why it happened. Practice your response to make sure it’s clear and positive.
And if you were fired from a position? Be forthcoming about it. Accept responsibility for what happened and highlight what you learned from the experience. By doing so, you demonstrate your true character as well as a willingness to learn from mistakes. Though you may be tempted to point fingers or gloss over parts of the experience, the truth may surface down the line and come back to haunt you.
If you’re looking for jobs in Connecticut and want to avoid a gap on your résumé, register with A.R. Mazzotta. As a leading employment agency in Connecticut, we have a wide variety of office and clerical jobs, administrative jobs, manufacturing and industrial jobs, accounting and finance jobs, technical jobs (and more) available throughout Connecticut. Contact an A.R. Mazzotta recruiter today to learn more.