Holes in your resume?

Gaps in employment are often a real nuisance, despite the fact that they're quite common. Everybody has some part of their resume that isn't self-explanatory. Most people also worry a lot about having to come up with an explanation which makes sense to a potential new employer.

Actually, employers are a bit more practical minded. A long gap in employment may be for reasons other than being unemployed. They're more worried about information being concealed than information being accurate. It does happen, too. Concealing information like a conviction or a "questionable" lifestyle is quite common, and usually doesn't work. Employers are less likely to be concerned about someone being genuinely unemployed than someone who gives them false information.

The irony is that unemployed people usually aren't inactive during their period of unemployment. They're usually flat out trying to improve their situations as fast as possible. Most do training courses, many actually do various types of casual work, or other forms of activity which are perfectly good things to include on a resume. The gaps can be usefully filled in, if you use the right materials.

The work history on a resume or CV doesn't have to be all full-time employment. If there's a two year gap in employment, anybody reading it would want to know what happened in the gap period. That's all that's required. There are ways of doing this so you can cover just about the entire period effectively.

Work history can include:

  • Casual jobs
  • Part-time jobs
  • Commission work
  • Day labor
  • Paid internships
  • Online work

Anything that qualifies as paid work is acceptable, and the time frames make more sense to people reading the resume. These jobs can also be used as evidence of current work experience, skills, and are sometimes extremely useful in getting jobs.

Including these jobs in your application also puts your efforts to get work into their proper perspective. They make your application a lot more credible, because you've been getting these jobs. You're a motivated applicant, which is a definite positive for any employer. Training is particularly useful in filling in the holes in your resume. Training is highly regarded, because it indicates initiative, direction and a definite effort to improve skills.

Training includes:

  • Vocational training (even if not related to the job)
  • Skills training
  • Business training
  • Community college training
  • Social Security sponsored training
  • Unpaid internships
  • Accredited online studies

Training counts strongly in your favor, in terms of patching up the gaps in your resume. If the training includes skills for the job, and was part of an intended career move, that's even better. The skills that don't directly relate to the job, if they do relate to the employer's business, are also extremely useful value adding assets to your application.

These are the surefire ways of showing an employer you're ready to be hired. Holes in your resume? What holes?