Resumes hold a lot of weight in the manufacturing industry today. Instead of filling out a generic application, many candidates would rather take the time to write an attractive and informative resume. Conversely, many hiring managers and industry leaders would rather read a compelling resume than flip through pages of standardized applications.
However, some resumes have large gaps between jobs. Whether you took time off to raise a family, go back to school or even if you just couldn’t find a job during this period, it’s important to explain the gap in an honest and straightforward matter. Remember: A prior absence from the workforce probably won’t disqualify you from any job, but lying about it will.
Address the Gap and Explain What Happened
One of the first things you should do during the interview process is to draw attention to your time off. This shows the hiring manager that you’re not trying to hide this information or misrepresent it in any way. It also opens up the conversation for a specific discussion regarding any gaps between jobs.
However you don’t want to draw attention to this fact if you aren’t planning on explaining what happened. If you left your previous job for a new opportunity that didn’t quite pan out, don’t be afraid to state that during the interview. Even if you were fired from your previous job, it’s important to remain honest and upfront throughout the entire interview process.
Highlight Your Job Search
Most employment gaps will easily be excused when your hiring manager knows how you spent your free time. If you worked for one or more temp agencies, let your interviewer know. The same can be said about any volunteer roles you may have had and interviews with other companies. Not only does this highlight your motivation to find a new job and remain employed, it lets the hiring manager know you weren’t sitting idly by during this time.
Draw Attention to Any New Skills or Knowledge
You’ll also want to point out any new skills or knowledge you may have gained during your absence from the workforce. Did you go back to college? Have you acquired any new certifications or accreditations? Details like this can be incredibly helpful when it comes to landing a job in the face of a large gap in your prior experience.
How to Work Around a Gap in Your Experience
As you can see, a large gap on your resume doesn’t necessarily hurt your ability to land a job. Instead, interviewers are focused more on how you deal with downtime and how you’ve maintained forward progress on a day-to-day basis. Candidates who can illustrate these qualities will find it easier to overcome the anxiety that often comes with extended career absences.
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