3 Ways to Make the Most of Employment Gaps

Posted: 05/06/14 | Category: Job Search Resume

Explaining employment gaps on a resume can be difficult, but a hiatus from full-time employment does not have to be a career-ender. Regardless of whether your employment gap is voluntary or involuntary, there are various ways to show future employers you were doing anything but idling on the sidelines.


Your service to a great cause doesn’t have to go unheralded. Any volunteer work during an employment gap can help overcome employer objections. Work with a non-profit says a few things about you as an employee:

• You are committed to using your talents in any way to better the world.
• You are unwilling to let moss grow on your skills.
• You are able to step outside of your comfort zone and thrive.

Additionally, volunteering is a great way of explaining employment gaps on a resume as positive experiences to a prospective employer. Plus, you can easily use your non-profit connections as references to convey the full spectrum of your capabilities. 

Pursue New Certifications

Have some free time on your hands? Get yourself further certified. An employment gap becomes less visible if your time was spent enhancing your education.

University courses and technical programs are the traditional way to increase your aptitudes, but you can pursue further education even if you are strapped for cash. There are plenty of free courses and certifications online that help when explaining employment gaps a resume as a learning opportunity. Employers will be more inclined to overlook your time away from the workforce when you return with a fresh set of pertinent skills.

Do Freelance Work

Instead of including a long list of micro contracts on a resume, you can list them underneath freelancing experience. Select your four best projects to highlight, ones that show your aptitude and versatility. That way, you can continue to keep your skills sharpened and discard the stigma of an employment gap label.

If you are looking to shorten your employment gap considerably, give one of our recruiters a call. We have a variety of direct hire and contract work ready for a talented person like you.

by James Walsh