How To Bridge The Gap In Your Resume

Are you concerned that a hiring manager may notice the gap in your resume?

Maybe you worked steadily from 1993-2001 and then you were unemployed from 2001-2002.

Should you ignore it, explain it, or make up something?

None of the above. Tell the truth and let it work in your favor.

Here’s how:

Suppose you took care of a sick relative, spent a year getting your master’s degree or further training in your area of expertise, did extended volunteer work in your community, or took a year off to see the world?




List whatever it is on your resume.

By bridging the work gap you are showing another side of yourself––one that can inspire any hiring manager. You will appear to be a balanced person, one who has a sound work history and also someone who knows there’s more to life than work. By admitting the truth, you also display your integrity. The employer will not need to worry that you play games or hold secrets.

Here’s an example of how to build that bridge on your resume:

1993-2001, Assistant Director of Marketing, Ace Manufacturing, Boston, MA
2001-2002, Boston University, Earned an M.A. in Business

OR

1993-2001, Assistant Director of Marketing, Ace Manufacturing, Boston, MA
2001-2002, Volunteered with clean-up after 9/11 in New York City

OR

1993-2001 Assistant Director of Marketing, Ace Manufacturing, Boston, MA
2001-2002 Took a year’s leave to care for aging parent.

When you are called for an interview and further questions arise about your employment history, you’ll be ready to talk to the hiring manager with ease. Your resume is clean, clear, and concise. You held back nothing. Therefore, you can relax and talk freely about what you can bring to the new position and how your skill and talent will add value to the company.

For example, based on what you did during the ‘gap,’ you might offer to coordinate a community effort to feed the homeless or sponsor a junior soccer team or plan an event for seniors. Such an outreach would bring positive attention to the company and put you in a favorable light, as well.

When it comes to your resume, tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth and see how even the gaps can work for you, not against you.

Article by Jimmy Sweeney

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