Addressing Employment Gaps on Your Resume


Addressing employment gaps on your resume can be a challenging task, but it is not impossible. In today's job market, employers are more open to hiring candidates with employment gaps than ever before, but it is still important to address the gaps in a professional and strategic manner. In this article, we will discuss the different ways in which you can address employment gaps on your resume to increase your chances of landing your dream job.

Why Do Employment Gaps Occur?

Employment gaps can occur for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Personal reasons such as illness, caring for a family member, or taking time off to travel.
  • Job loss or layoff due to economic downturns or company restructuring.
  • Difficulty finding a new job in a specific field or industry.

Regardless of the reason, employment gaps can make job seekers feel anxious about how they will be perceived by potential employers. However, it's important to remember that employment gaps are not uncommon, and most recruiters and hiring managers are understanding of the fact that life happens.

How to Address Employment Gaps on Your Resume

1. Be Honest

The most important thing when addressing an employment gap on your resume is to be honest. Don't try to cover up the gap or make up fake work experience. Most recruiters and hiring managers will be able to see through any lies or fabrications, which could ultimately hurt your chances of getting hired. Instead, be upfront about the gap and use it as an opportunity to highlight any skills or experiences you gained during that time.

2. Highlight Transferable Skills

If you were out of work for an extended period, you may be worried that your skills have become outdated. However, even if you weren't working in your desired industry, you likely still gained transferable skills that could be valuable to a potential employer. Make sure to highlight these skills on your resume and emphasize how they can be applied to the job you are applying for.

3. Consider Temp or Freelance Work

If you are still currently searching for a job, consider taking on temporary or freelance work to help fill the employment gap on your resume. This shows potential employers that you are proactive and willing to work, even if it's not in your desired field or industry. Additionally, you may pick up new skills and experiences that you can add to your resume.

4. Focus on Accomplishments, Not Dates

When describing your work experience on your resume, focus on your accomplishments rather than the dates of your employment. For example, instead of saying "Worked as a marketing manager from January 2015 to August 2016," say "Developed and executed successful marketing campaigns that increased sales by 20%." This draws attention to your skills and achievements rather than the fact that you were only in the job for a short period.

5. Use a Functional Resume Format

If you have large employment gaps, consider using a functional resume format instead of a chronological one. A functional resume focuses on your skills and accomplishments rather than your work history, which can help draw attention away from any employment gaps. However, it's important to note that some recruiters and hiring managers prefer chronological resumes, so be sure to tailor your resume format to the job you are applying for.


Addressing employment gaps on your resume can be nerve-wracking, but it's important to remember that almost everyone has gaps in their employment history at some point. By being honest, emphasizing transferable skills, considering temp or freelance work, focusing on accomplishments, and using a functional resume format if necessary, you can successfully address employment gaps on your resume and increase your chances of landing your dream job.