Employment gaps in a resume can be a cause of anxiety for many job seekers in the marketing industry. These gaps can call your marketability into question, and dramatically extend the length of your job search. Fortunately, there are ways around these common resume pitfalls. In fact, your employment gaps may actually prove to be an opportunity to highlight your personal and professional development.
Follow these four tips to make the most of your employment history.
Restructure Your Resume
If your employment gap only lasted for a few months, removing the month from your resume format may help obscure this fact. Report the calendar year only, and many hiring managers and interviewers may not even ask about gaps. You should avoid using functional resumes (as opposed to chronological resumes). You can, however, utilize a hybrid form of the functional and chronological resume by listing your skills and accomplishments at the top and detailing them by chronology below.
Focus on Other Activities
Many job seekers take part in other activities that can be used to fill in the gaps on their resumes. For instance, if you volunteer or take part in community engagement events, you can always list these on your resume. Other options include continuing education courses, consulting or freelance work, travel, and special projects. Not only do these activities fill in your employment gaps, but they actually make you more of a well-rounded candidate with potentially valuable life experiences.
Highlight Your Professional Development
In the marketing world, information and technology can change almost overnight. If you’ve been out of the game for several months (or several years), you may have to prove to potential employers that you’ve kept your industry knowledge up to date. You can always join the American Marketing Association (AMA) and attend seminars and webinars to further develop your skills, or subscribe to marketing magazines to stay abreast of recent developments. By listing these professional development opportunities on your resume, you’ll make it clear to hiring managers that your skills aren’t outdated or obsolete.
Above all, presentation can make or break your resume. In your cover letter and in the interview itself, don’t apologize for your employment gap. Whether you were raising a family, taking time off, or dealing with a tough hiring climate, gaps can happen to anyone. Present it as a positive light. Let the interviewer know that you valued your time off as an opportunity to develop your skills, travel the world, or spend precious time with your family.
By simply changing the format or detailing your activities and opportunities during your employment gap, you can make yourself a more attractive candidate to employers seeking talented marketers.
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Clearpoint is a staffing agency for jobs in information technology, marketing, creative, and other professionals. We do business by building long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with our employees and clients.