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There are a number of valid reasons why there is a gap in your employment record like raising a child, pursuing a personal passion or dealing with a health/family emergency but unfortunately that absence of work experience can be a red flag for employers. You don’t want to be put at a disadvantage against other prospective hires with more consistent work experience so what can you do? Plenty! Nowadays, its all in the resume and how you draft one that can make all the difference in the world. Check out these 4 resume tips for entering the workforce after a gap of employment.
Resume Formatting Options
Functional resumes are often recommended to recent graduates with no experience or applicants looking for jobs in a new field but can also be a great choice for people who have been out of work for a few years. Functional resumes prioritize your skills rather than your work history and they allow you to put your best foot forward by emphasizing the entirety of your work record rather than putting that gap of employment on prominent display. You may also want to consider a hybrid resume. The simple fact is that employers expect to see a job history and many will be skeptical of resumes that excise them entirely. A hybrid resume that puts your skills first but also lists your job experience is what most employers are expecting to see. You can see some resume samples on LiveCareer that will help you get started!
Bulk Up Your Experience
If circumstances aren’t forcing you to enter the job market right away, you can dramatically increase your odds of getting your dream job by pursuing parallel opportunities. Consider pursuing volunteer work in the field that interests you or get in touch with a temp agency so that you can pad out your resume with relevant experience. Even if you have years of experience in a field under your belt, employers are looking for proof that you can still get the job done even after an absence and having a few current recommendations can mean a world of difference.
Catch Up on Current Trends
With the rate at which technology grows the expectations for a particular industry can change practically overnight. If you don’t have the relevant technical expertise you’re at a disadvantage because your employer will have to spend the time and money catching you up with people who have been consistently in the field. Take the time to understand any changes that have arisen in your absence and try to pursue any relevant certifications so that you can prove your willingness to keep ahead of the curve.
Be Pragmatic in Your Job Search
When applying for a job, there’s a natural push and pull between creating a resume generic enough that you can spread it across all possible job openings and one that’s more targeted towards the type of positions you’re most interested in. Many employers are going to have a preference towards those who are presently employed and that means that you should exercise more attention into writing the right application for each employer. Be judicious and pragmatic in your job search and the positions you apply for. This will allow you to create resumes that are tailored to the employers individual needs.
Good Luck and happy Searching!