A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Returning to work is a great step towards having career stability and advancement. However, if you are one of the individuals who have previously taken a sabbatical or just had a long gap of being unemployed, getting back on track may be challenging. For whatever reasons you may have, there are ways on how you can address the employment gap which will be reflected on your resume.
Being able to explain gaps in work history is possible and doing so will give you a more professional vibe when submitting an application. If you are having a hard time writing your resume because of the long gaps of unemployment you have, you may want to consider the following tips which can help you still achieve having a good resume that can ultimately get you hired:
- Present yourself in the best possible light – Evaluate whether pointing out your gap in employment is absolutely necessary. Since some employers may see a long gap in your employment as incapacity of some sort, you may want to leave out long gaps. However, you can use employment gaps to your advantage by pointing out in the interview the productive things you did during the gap and how it helped you grow as a person, as an individual, and as a new and reenergized potential employee.
- Write a cover letter to accompany your resume – You will have a more professional presentation of yourself if you write a good cover letter to accompany your resume. Here, you can take the chance to explain your sabbatical if it is what preceded your application. Although the sabbatical you took may not be exactly related to the job you are applying for now, you can make your potential employer feel your willingness to talk about the sabbatical you recently had by saying something along the lines of “I will be more than willing to discuss my sabbatical with you during our appointment.” When you say this, be prepared for questions regarding your sabbatical. You’ll be able to explain gaps in work history better if you are prepared to meet questions concerning them.
- How to justify your sabbatical during the interview – When you are being interviewed, the best way to explain your sabbatical would be to tell your potential employer more about the professional endeavors you still had while working, and the personal growth experiences you had. If you did research during your time away from work, mention that. If you took extra courses or skills improvement classes, you should mention that as well. Make them see your initiative to grow as an individual and as a person and this will make them realize how much of an asset you will be to them as a potential employee.
Constructing Your Resume
When you begin writing the experience section, it will reflect when you were last employed, or the gaps between your employment. To the trained eye, this will get the resume reviewer curious and will ask you questions about it.
If the gaps are caused by placing only the most relevant jobs you’ve previously held, you can simply explain you had jobs in between but chose not to include them since they are from an irrelevant field—this will counter the thought of being unemployed too often which may negatively impact your chances.
A D V E R T I S E M E N T
Remember to have a cover letter which addresses why you needed to have a sabbatical, or your willingness to discuss it with them when you are given the chance for an interview. Lastly, be aware of the length of time as well as the reasons behind your sabbatical. Always having a ready answer is the best way to impress.