Filling in the Blanks on My Resume

man-holding-resume-263x252Having a consistent employment history can boost employment chances, but not everybody is lucky enough to stay employed continuously since they start working.

However, gaps of unemployment on a resume are considered a red flag by many employers.

If you have been unemployed for considerably long periods of time throughout your career, you can make yourself more marketable by learning how to fill in the blanks on your resume.


Provide an Honest Explanation

Being unemployed is nothing to be ashamed of, especially if you have a good reason for it.

Many people lost their jobs between 2009 and 2012 due to the economic crisis, including very capable and experienced professionals. If you are one of these people, your interviewer will not see your failure to get a job during those years as a serious flaw.

However, if you are unemployed at a time when the economy is booming, it can significantly affect your chances of getting the job.

Whether you were unemployed because of a recession, severe illness or family responsibilities, you should provide an honest explanation in the employment section of your resume.


Indicate Career-Related Activities during Unemployment

If you participated in certain activities during unemployment that can have a positive impact on your career, you should include them in your resume.

Examples of such activities include working part-time, becoming a volunteer or consultant, and attending classes, workshops or seminars that are related to your career.

By mentioning these activities in your resume, you are letting your potential employers know that you did not waste your time while you were unemployed and you have a constant desire to improve yourself.


De-Emphasize Employment Gaps

Although you cannot hide employment gaps on your resume, there are things that you can do to make them less apparent.

Instead of listing your previous jobs in the traditional chronological order, you can list the greatest achievements and most relevant experiences in your career first. The companies you worked for and the dates of employment can be listed further down the page.

Another way to de-emphasize employment gaps on your resume is to write employment dates in years, rather than months and years.

For instance, if you worked for a company between September, 2009 and February, 2010, just saying you were employed from 2009 to 2010 will make your resume look better.


Be Positive

Having employment gaps in your resume can make you feel anxious and not confident during an interview.

Instead of trying to make excuses for being unemployed, you should focus on the experience and skills that you have gained during unemployment.

When the interviewer asks you to explain the gaps on your resume, just give a brief explanation and try to draw his or her attention to the things you have learned while you were unemployed.

Due to widespread unemployment resulting from the recent economic downturn, many job seekers have gaps on their resumes.

As a result, employers tend to be more lenient with employment gaps these days.

You will still stand a good chance of landing your dream job if you have a positive attitude.


About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, ranging from employment tips to biographies of famous entrepreneurs, such as Steve Wynn.

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Good luck in your search.

Joey Trebif

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