How to Handle Gaps on your Resume

Gaps on your resume put stress and fear as a job seeker. When an employer sees an unexplained gap on your resume, he or she may think that you’re hiding something.

So, to gain trust for the potential employer, it is best that you explain these gaps honestly. Most employers understand that you may not work continuously, but they also want to know what you did during your time off.

So how do you go about explaining gaps on your resume?


1 Be honest about your extensive gap

How to Handle Gaps on your Resume

Be honest about your gap for whatever reason it may be. A gap on your resume isn’t a surefire reason to reject you, being dishonest is. If you have an extensive gap between employment you may address it in the cover letter that accompanies your resume. You have more room to address the gap on your cover letter than on your resume, so you can let your prospective employer know the reason why you were out of the workforce, and explain that you are ready to return.

Explain the reason precisely and also the experience you have gained in this gap which will benefit your career.


2 Exclude months from your work history

In the section of “work history” use years, not months. This makes the information more reader-friendly and will be easy to catch all the details of your work history at a glance. In addition, listing only years may hide some of the gaps in your work history.

For example:

7/2012 – 9/2013, Sr Manager- maintenance in ABC company

5/2010- 2/2012, Manager- maintenance in ZYZ company

if you exclude the months, you will eliminate 5 months gap

2012 – 2013, Sr Manager- maintenance in ABC company

2010- 2012, Manager- maintenance in ZYZ company


3 Highlight job function and skills 

Use your job functions and skills as the top priority in your resume. Write the details of your job functions and skills at the top of your resume. This will be useful if you have some large gaps in your work history.


4 Bonus tip:

How to Handle Gaps on your Resume

Mention the activities your undertook during the gap 

Don’t forget to mention any special activities you have done during your employment gap to improve your professional standing. This could be:

  • Any professional course you’ve done
  • Any freelancing work, explain the work in detail.
  • Any personal projects or travelled somewhere.


Regardless of the reasons and sizes of your employment gaps, you should always maintain an optimistic and positive attitude during your job search, and make sure that your prospective employer knows that you are eager to return to work and will give the best.

So, above are the important points to handle gaps on your resume. Put your comments below if the above tips are helpful to make your resume even better.





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