Don’t let breaks in employment hurt your potential job offers. Many hiring managers are wary of candidates with holes in their work history, but you can avoid negative stigma with the following suggestions. In fact, depending on your reason for an employment gap, you may be able to use it to your advantage. Here’s what you can do.
Consider the structure of your resume
First and foremost, format your resume to help explain your situation to a potential employer. In your work history section, include the reasons why you left each job on the right-hand side of the page. This way, you are being up-front and honest, and will provide a quick snapshot to anyone reading your resume.
So, what’s your reason?
Next, what WERE your reasons for leaving a job or jobs? A pause in employment could be due to any of the following:
- You were laid off or the facility closed. With the state of the American economy over the past ten years, many people lost their jobs for this reason. And when layoffs happen, it can take time to find your next position. A good explanation for an employment gap after layoff is that you were taking your time to find the right job, not just any job. After all, honesty and integrity are admirable qualities.
- You took time off to raise your children. In today’s society, this is not a common occurrence. However, children raised by a stay-at-home parent can end up happier and better adjusted than those who attend day care. Your compassion and loyalty to your family are qualities that can be transferred to your work, and many employers will see that.
- You accepted travel assignments. Travel assignments can be presented as stable employment, even though each placement was a short, by listing all of your assignments under one heading – your travel company’s name and the dates you were employed as a traveler. This highlights your consistent employment with one agency. Employers understand that travel assignments help you determine the setting and location in which you’d like to focus and value the diversity of your various experiences.
- You were ill and in recovery. Unfortunately, sicknesses happen. The best choice you can make—and often the only choice you have, depending on the severity of your illness—is to take the time your body needs to heal. An employer cannot fault you—and may admire you—for knowing what you needed and having the confidence to take care of yourself.
- You took time to care for a sick loved one. Perhaps someone you love fell ill and you decided to act as caregiver, making it your full-time endeavor. If you’ve taken time off of work to provide sick care, you can present yourself as a compassionate person who values work-life balance and places family high on your list of priorities. And that is respectable.
- You went back to school. Maybe your lapse in employment was due to the fact that you felt you needed to learn more about your field, or explore a new one. Though many people work while going back to school, it’s a wise and time-efficient option to give your attention to your education and make it your full-time focus. A hiring manger will pride you on your desire for increased knowledge and career growth.
Whatever your reason, be honest.
Don’t try to hide employment gaps, because this can just raise red flags for employers. State the reason for the lapse and spin it as a positive: you learned, grew, rested, explored, healed, etc. Your commitment to moving forward and continuing to expand your career is one of the best traits you can offer to a potential employer. Stay confident and believe in yourself and your intentions.
If you’re a travel therapist looking for a new job, check out PT Solutions.
We excel at placing therapists and allied healthcare professionals with travel positions across the country. Build your job experience and see new places! Contact PT Solutions today to learn more.