Often people will find that they have gaps in their resume or will soon be getting to a point where they may have a significant gap.
Long periods of time where you’ve gone without work can be a struggle when you’re getting back into the workforce. Employers will see resume gaps as a bad sign and you could be overlooked if there’s no explanation why.
There are many different reasons that people will have gaps in their resume. It could be due to a family misfortune, lack of childcare, or the opportunity to continue your education. Whatever the reason may be, it’s important that all of this is resolved on your resume. This is so the employer isn’t left wondering why you were out of work for so long.
Here are some things you can do to fill in those gaps.
Temporary or Seasonal Positions
These types of jobs are a great way to fill in your resume gaps, but there are a few things about them to be aware of.
They normally pay less than permanent jobs, typically because it’s not something you will do for very long and employers don’t see the need to invest in seasonal employees as much permanent hires.
Seasonal positions are often advertised by businesses around specific times of the year like the holidays or maybe the summer for jobs at the beach or a pumpkin patch in the fall and only last for a few months or less, while temporary positions are available year-round and could last longer. Oftentimes, temporary jobs are found through employment agencies. Businesses will be contracted with these agencies so that they can be supplied with temporary workers when they need them. These agencies will make finding temp work easy for you, but it’s also possible to find these positions through your job search as these agencies post and source talent through job boards all the time.
The best thing about temporary and seasonal jobs is that if you perform well you may be offered a more permanent position at the end of your contract. A business may also contract you again or for a longer period of time in the future.
Something that people may not think about is putting volunteer work on their resumes. Despite not being paid, volunteer work can be a very valuable asset on your resume. Employers will see your initiative and passion and know that you have the motivation to stick with something. These are valuable qualities and something that you should definitely consider doing to fill that gap in your resume.
Volunteer work can be found everywhere, whether it’s an effort you spearhead on your own or volunteer with an organization. It’s something that’s simple and easy to sign up for and can be very rewarding for you in the end.
Independent Contracting and Freelance Work
Also known as gig economy jobs, being a freelancer or independent contractor means that you are self-employed. While these types of positions are very similar, like the seasonal and temporary positions, they have some slight differences.
Freelancing allows you to work at your own pace and you are often paid an amount that’s set before you start of the job instead of being paid by the hour. Since you are able to make your own hours, it’s harder to determine the length of freelance work. Most job postings for freelance work will have a project in mind and will hire you until the project is finished.
With independent contracting you’re a separate entity that is hired as a third party. Usually you are hired for a set amount of time and are paid by the hour as opposed to the work that you do.
If you decide to pursue contracting or freelance work, it will require you to have just a little more than your resume in hand. A strong social media presence can help you get on a company’s radar. A lot of employers will seek out people to fill these jobs but there are also jobs posted for these types of opportunities.
If you’re considering going the route of self-employment, it will be important for you to keep track of examples of your work so you can show proof to potential employers that you are capable of everything listed on your resume.
Filling in resume gaps can often be tricky but hopefully these pointers will help. With the right tools and motivation, you’ll find yourself with a complete resume in no time.