How To Handle Resume Gaps

Most people opt for a functional resume as a way to handle the embarrassing work history problems which is wrong.

Though it is true that a functional resume does give a clean idea to deal with employment gaps, a functional resume is not a way in which to hide gaps in work experience. Why?? Because they assume you’re using this format to mask something in your work history. Take a look at this functional resume template.

As you can see, the main focus of the functional resume is on the four Major Skill sections in the body. The work history is tucked away in a separate section and is listed very briefly — just the dates, job title, employer’s name, city, and state for each job.

If you want to end up with a resume that has an amazing focus. Follow these simple steps.

1. Start with an Objective Statement
Summarize your goal as your top qualifications. This will capture the attention to your best qualities while downplaying your work history.

2. Outline Your Expertise
Identify the industry keywords from the job posting and list these terms to strengthen your resume.

3. Create an Achievements Section

Create an achievements section right at the top of your resume to show the hiring manager that you can add value to the company.

4. Disclose Your Timeline
You need to create an experience section to capture the attention of the hiring managers. Here you will list your employment experience chronologically. If there are gaps spanning more than one year, you can choose to include a line explaining the gap such as “Maternity Leave” or “Leave of Absence to Attend to Family.” However, including an explanation for a gap is not necessary. Use only years, instead of months if you don’t want to call the attention of the hiring managers.

Check example, when writing months in your work history. Notice the gap here:

11/09 – 4/12, Project Manager, Suburban, Las Vegas, NV
3/07 – 2/09, Assistant Manager, Taco Bell, Milpitas, CA

If you use only years and eliminate the months, there is no apparent gap:

2009-2012, Project Manager, Suburban, Las Vegas, NV
2007-2009, Assistant Manager, Taco Bell, Milpitas, CA

If you’ve been unemployed for 2 years or more, you can consider everything during that time such as travel, volunteer work, coursework, and training and if possible, present them so they’re relevant to your job objective.

Honesty is the key—as it is with any resume. The best strategy for your resume is to always be truthful about your background.

If you’re struggling to write your own resume, not seeing the results you want from your current resume, you can request assistance for a resume writer at TeamResumePro.