How to Overcome Gaps in Employment

By Violet Gibson

August 10, 2016   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

gaps in employment

Are you worried about gaps in employment?

With the severe economic conditions and widespread layoffs, more people are faced with the threat of losing their job. The negative trends affect all sectors of the labour market and even the best workers can get laid off. Unfortunately, a potential blow may have a bigger impact on your career that you suspect.

The effects of long–term unemployment are evident in the division of the labour market. There are two well-defined groups – people that have been out of work for less than six months and those who have been out of work longer.

The reason is that most employers and recruiters are less likely to hire job seekers that stayed unemployed for a while. Recruiters assume that something is not right with them and they are not suitable candidates. Fortunately, it is not impossible to break the stigma of long-term unemployment.

Here is how to get a fresh start in your career and overcome gaps in employment.

Overcome the psychological effects of unemployment

effects of unemployment

For many people the effects of losing their job extend beyond the financial impact. It’s natural to experience lower self-esteem after getting laid off.

Since our personal and professional identities are closely aligned, our job can largely affect our perception of who we are. In this sense, it’s not simply your job that has been taken away, but your identity as well.

Feelings of anxiety, sadness, insecurity and hopelessness can grow and lead to more serious consequences. It is important to recognize these negative patterns and improve your mental attitude:

  • Talk – Find a good listener who will not interrupt or judge you. Even if they can’t offer you a solution, it can be liberating to be open about your unemployment issues.

  • Exercise – It’s good for your self-esteem and your health

  • Eat well – Avoid carb-loaded comfort food and sugary snacks.

  • House clean – Surprisingly, domestic cleaning can restore the feeling of control over your life. Plus, your place will look nicer.

  • Network – Meet new people. They might be your next boss or know someone who might hire you.

Fill the Gaps

As mentioned earlier, recruiters are less likely to hire someone who has been out of work for more than six months. You can turn this around by using your free time for meaningful activities that will enrich both your life and your resume.

  • Stay involved – Find work-related activities that will help you stay up-to-date with the industry and will improve your skills, making you more competitive. Contract assignments and temporary employment are viable options.

  • Volunteer – Non-profit organizations can always benefit from some extra help. Pick a field that is relevant to your experience and career interest.

See Also: How to Learn Anything Online for Free

Level Up Your Resume

updated cv

Your resume reflects not only your work experience, but also your individual self. Long gaps in employment can give the impression of lack of ambition and abilities. These unexplained blank spaces in your work history may also imply that you are incapable of landing a job.

Here’s how to handle the employment gaps in your CV:

  • Be honest – Don’t try to hide the holes in your resume. Explain it in your cover letter. Cleaning out these issues from the start is the best strategy, but don’t draw to much attention to it.

  • Present the gap in a positive way – You can mention how this period made you a better worker like acquiring new skills and developing mature understanding.

  • Show progression –Include any courses and certificates you acquired while you were unemployed.

See Also: Resume Action Words That Will Get You That Job

Although long-term unemployment can be tough, there is no use getting discouraged and bummed-out. Life throws challenges that seem impossible to past through until you actually overcome them.

Violet Gibson

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