Resume Tips

Should You Explain Job Gaps on a Resume?

Everyone wants a stellar resume and sometimes we tend to over-analyze our own situations, which can produce negative results during a new job search. One of those issues would be explaining job gaps on a resume.

This might seem like a good idea if you have extensive lengths of time between companies and worried an employer might automatically exclude you from consideration of the job. However, employers understand things we cannot control tend to happen in life, and they can be more forgiving than what we think.

When preparing a resume, it is important to show a progressive climb up the corporate ladder by demonstrating a steady record of achievement and longevity. Nevertheless, drawing unnecessary attention to negative aspects of your career by trying to clarify a lapse between jobs is never a good idea. Hiring managers are more concerned about seeing relevant skills and accomplishments that pertain to the requirements of the job, so it is highly unlikely they would use a gap or two in employment as the main excluding factor. Not to mention, explaining it away draws unnecessary focus to that aspect of your background when it might have otherwise gone unnoticed had you not.

How to avoid putting job gaps on your resume:

  • Include a section that focuses on specific key strength phrases relevant to your industry.
  • Help the reader conclude your abilities by writing a concise list of core competencies and/or achievement instead of boring job descriptions.
  • Depending on your industry and credentials, possibly placing your work experience closer to the bottom of the resume would bring more attention to the qualifications and skills you possess.
  • Show the company that you are unique and will produce results by showcasing accomplishments, significant credentials, or results you produced during prior engagements.

In theory, you might be able to lower the negative effects of gaps in employment on your resume by conveying relevant and more positive attributes that employers are actually looking for instead of wasting space trying to explain away obvious facts.