Some resume “holes” are painfully obvious to the job seeker trying to fill them. How do you fill a conspicuous gap in your employment caused by the recent recession, for instance? But other holes might escape your notice, only to be flagged by an interviewer.
Here are some of the top “holes” that might appear in your resume and how to fix or address them in an interview:
Gaps in your employment history.
This most common “hole” indicates a period of months or even years in which you weren’t employed. Due to the recent recession, this hole now concerns employers less than it used to.
Address this hole on your resume by being honest; don’t fudge dates to cover up a gap. During the interview, be ready to discuss what you did during that time, like volunteering, attending college, or caring for family. Emphasize what you learned while you were away from the job market and how it will help you do the job you’re applying for more effectively: “During those six months I spent taking care of my aging father, I realized how much empathy and listening really matter in sales contexts.”
Even if your list of employment dates flows smoothly, dates that indicate frequent switches from one job to another may catch an employer’s eyes. Consider adding jobs that lasted only a few months to the end of your resume, without work dates, in a section titled “Additional Experience.” If these short roles were temporary or contract positions, you might state that on your resume as well. In both cases, be prepared to talk about what you learned and how it will help you do better work in the new position.
A degree you didn’t complete.
If you’re mid-career, a lack of a college degree may not matter as much as you think. If you’re currently in school or have recently left, consider listing the progress you’ve made toward your degree, along with any coursework that specifically relates to the job you’re applying for. Listing coursework can also help if you’re making a mid-career change to a field that is unrelated to your original degree. Listing professional training, seminars, and specialized credentialing classes can also help paint a more accurate picture of your educational past.
At THE RIGHT STAFF, LLC, our experienced recruiters in Minnesota and Wisconsin can help you polish your resume and present the best possible version of your work to employers. Contact us today to learn more.