How And When To Address Resume Gaps

How and When to Address Resume Gaps

Our careers and life choices don’t always fit perfectly together. Sometimes, we put one above the other and that can lead to absolutely amazing things, but that can also lead to different outcomes than expected in the future. 

As people look to return to work later in life, after traveling, raising a family, or doing non-career related activities, they often find that the job hunt is much harder because of the gap in their work history. This is especially true for specialized professionals, such as medical, legal, or scientific professionals who must upkeep classes and licensure, as well as active working hours for companies to feel confident in hiring them. 

So how do you start finding work with a gap in your resume? How, and when, do you address it on your resume? Keep reading below to learn more!

Ignoring Resume Gaps

Determining how to handle resume saps starts with deciding if you need to even do so. In many cases, there are resume gaps that are better asked about in person than explained on a resume. Any gap less than 6 months (or less than three if you are in a less specialized field of work) can be easily explained in person and does not necessarily need an explanation on a resume. 

Additionally, you do not need to explain a gap between one and five years on your resume if, since then, you have been working for over a year in a role that pertains to the field you are applying for. Recent work experience is what many employers look for to determine whether a candidate should be invited for an interview. So long as you have more than one year in the last two years of that, you should be able to secure an interview without a resume explanation.

What you should do, though, is still address it as a single line on your resume. list the dates that you were not employed in the field and a brief idea of what you were doing (Stay at Home Parent, Travelling, ect) to let the facility know that you acknowledge that the gap is there but you have since moved forward with your career.

Addressing Resume Gaps

If you have been out of the field for some time, then you may wish to address it on your resume. The key to addressing it is not to simply tell others why you left the field during that time, but, instead, how you made sure to stay qualified during that time.

Just like with any other job on a resume, list the reason why you were out of the field as the job title with the dates that correspond with your time away. Below that, list out the skills that are relevant to your field of work that you maintained and any volunteer, licensure, or training programs you did during that time to stay at the top of your game.

As an example, you might see:

                  Stay at Home Parent


              • Volunteer with Red Cross as medical assistance on relief efforts

              • Maintained active RN licensure (exp 2022)

              • Comfortable working solo or part of a team

              • Experienced with working under pressure

And so on. There are a great many skills that you can pick up and hone without being in an office or a work setting, so be sure to pay attention to those skills when making this section.

Softening the Blow

It is understandable that you might still feel insecure about sending in your resume, especially if you have a larger gap. If you have made an active effort to address it but still want to give yourself a leg-up, then you want to look into softening the blow. 

The first step is renewing or reactivating any licensure that is necessary for your field. This shows your future employers that you are genuinely serious about moving forward. If you cannot take a test because of a need for working hours, you can also take proficiency exams and list out that you are simply waiting on having your working hours before testing so your company knows that you have done your research and are planning ahead. 

If hands-on work is necessary, look for volunteer work or short-term contracts that might help you start back up again. You may have to start a few steps below where you were before leaving the field in order for employers to feel comfortable hiring you for higher level work, but a few months on quick contracts can allow you to be in tip-top shape for a long-term job interview.

If you are still unsure or uncomfortable moving forward and are looking to enter or re-enter the medical field, reach out to us with an updated resume here. You can also apply to one of our open job opportunities here. In either case, we will connect you with a recruiter who will be there with you to help you land the job of your dreams!

Tags: ageism, Care, contract work, gap in resume, gap year, health, healthcare, how to list being a stay at home parent in a resume, how to list travelling in a resume, job hunting, resume, resume gap, returning to the workforce, staffing, traveling, volunteer work

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