It’s 2022 and the world is finally coming out of the Covid-19 phase of its history. Unfortunately, Covid-19 did a number on the global job market. Industries shifted or shut down, jobs were lost, mass furloughs became a familiar story and people had to stop working to take care of loved ones.
Given the current circumstances, HR Managers and Employers are expecting Resumes with Employment Gaps in them. Contrary to popular belief Employment Gaps are not to be avoided on Resumes, in fact failing to mention Gaps might cause trouble further down the line.
In this article, we will take an in-depth look at how to include an Employment Gap in your resume properly. Furthermore, I, as a professional resume writer, will give my recommendations on how I would add an Employment Gap to my resume. Additionally, we will be looking at the role of picking the right Resume Templates to create a Resume with an Employment Gap.
This should go without saying but many resume makers consider an Employment Gap as an absolute negative for their resumes. Although not great, Employment Gaps with proper reasoning are not considered to be bad in any way shape, or form. Even if your Employment Gap was for negative reasons you can always set the narrative straight with a little bit of tweaking.
All that being said lying is never an option on a resume. As mentioned before not being honest on a resume is just a big NO. This never leads to anything good and will undoubtedly cause trouble further into your career and the repercussions can be severe.
As a Resume/Content Writer, especially when starting I had a decent amount of time when I couldn’t land a project or job so my resume had a lot of holes. For whatever reasons I had for not being employed whether they are because of a lack of experience or sheer laziness I updated my resume taking it into account and that has never caused me any problem until now.
Adding the Unemployment gap in your resume
Now let’s get into how to add an unemployment section to your resume. The period of Unemployment goes under your “Work History or “Professional Experience”. As with any work history, it should fall into the reverse-chronological order of things. This means that if you worked for 5 years, were unemployed for 6 months, and then started work again then your unemployment period should be listed between the two occupations.
When mentioning your Unemployment reasons, be brief and keep the word count to be minimum. Even though Unemployment is not an issue for Employers, it should take as little space on your resume as possible. One or two lines should suffice.
In my resume, the unemployment section would look something like this.
Jan 2021- Aug 2021
Father (aged 54 years old) had contracted Covid-19. Thus, I had to put a hold on my career and moved back to my hometown of Dt, Michigan to take care of the family. “
Cover Letter or Resume?
Another option for resume writers is to mention their Employment Gap in their cover letter. This is the option I would use for my resume.
In your Letter, you get more space to work with when addressing Unemployment and you can elaborate a bit more about the reasoning. Additionally, you can use a more personal tone which can garner more sympathy from the Hiring Manager or Employer.
The Unemployment Gap in a Cover Letter should go between the Body and the Closer.
Keeping all this in mind the employment gap in my resume cover letter would look something like this:
“My father who is an elderly gentleman, 54 years of age had contracted Covid-19 in January of 2021. He was exhibiting very severe symptoms and my family back home was suffering with him. This is the reason why I decided to put my career on hold and moved back home, to Detroit, Michigan for a few months. Now that my father has made a full recovery and things have stabilized I’m ready to join the workforce once more.”
As mentioned before clarity in your statement is key. When addressing your Employment gap whether in your Resume or Cover Letter be precise and concise. List the period of your Employment Gap and the reasoning accordingly. Again, do not divert from the truth or try and omit it together.
Picking the right Resume Templates
Resume Templates are a great way to create multiple targeted resumes in a short period but unfortunately, a lot of Resume Templates online do not have a pre-built Unemployment section and there is no way of adding one without disturbing the entire format of the thing.
So, if you have an employment gap in your Work History and plan on using resume templates then make sure that the template you will use already consists of a section for an Unemployment gap or has the option to edit it to add one.
The My Resume Lift Resume Builder offers its users many Resume Templates that are easily customizable to do just this. Additionally, if you plan on adding your Employment Gap in a Cover Letter, My Resume Lift’s Cover Letter Builder not only has the option to add a section for it but will also assist you with the content.
If I had the choice to create my resume (consisting of an employment gap) and the choices are creating a resume from scratch or using a Resume and/or Cover Letter Builder then the choice is easy. Visit My Resume Lift and let’s get to work on creating your perfect resume today.