We all know the age-old saying, honesty is the best policy. And it certainly applies when it comes to empty spaces in your Resume.
It is never wise to falsify any details on your resume. Your prospective employers are trained to look for inconsistencies, and they will follow up with references to clarify and confirm your claims.
So, be honest. If you’ve had time out of the workforce, for any reason, you can use this to your advantage. Here’s how.
Training and Upskilling
Perhaps you had a lengthy break between jobs? If you undertook any training, study or even informal work experience during this time, emphasise this in your cover letter. If you took some time to move your career to a new field or direction, explain this too.
It’s not uncommon for freelancers, contractors and other self-employed business owners to return to the workforce at some point. Even if it didn’t work out, your time in business is still extremely valuable experience. And it doesn’t matter if it was in a different field to the work you’re pursing now, be sure to highlight and celebrate all of your skills and achievements.
Your resume is not the place to discuss the how and why of a job loss – but be prepared for questions at the interview stage. Regardless of the reason, keep it positive. Focus on how you used the time productively and express your determination and enthusiasm to re-enter the workforce.
Most people aspire to leave the daily grind and see the world. And a lot of people do it. But when you get back to reality, you might find yourself behind the 8-ball with job opportunities, trying to explain a glaring hole in your resume. Not to worry! Use your cover letter to briefly explain any extensive travel absence and how you used this time to observe your industry in other locations and bring home new-found inspiration and ideas.
Taking time off to start a family or care for loved ones is commonplace, and most employers will accept this without question. If you choose to, you can clarify that the commitment has now scaled back, such as children are now attending school; or no longer required, if for example an elderly parent is now in residential care.
Companies hiring remote workers are especially good at understanding time out from work, and the need for flexible work arrangements. So just remember the first point – be honest – and it will be much smoother sailing from there.