Gaps in your work history can happen for a variety of reasons and can at times be unavoidable. For women in business, juggling the demands of occupations, familial duties, and academics can be difficult, making it necessary to take a break once in a while.
Although taking a break to care for your family and children is a noble and viable justification for a professional hiatus, explaining this to future employers requires some level of creativity and finesse. Here are a few tips on how to successfully justify the occupation mismatch in your resume.
- Consider Volunteering and Growing Your Networks Before Reentry
Before returning to the labor force after a career disruption, consider volunteering or working on your networks. Women who volunteer or work on their networks can remain linked to other specialists in their respective sectors. By taking on a volunteer position, you are refreshing your abilities and experience, which will ultimately look attractive in your resume.
Volunteering allows women to highlight their professional progression in the course of the career breaks. The experience you acquire as a volunteer can be included in the resume by underscoring essential lessons learned.
Also, before getting started on a job search following a career break, consider contacting your past employers, colleagues, and any professional networks you have built over the years. They can guide your job search while also providing essential insights into the transformations that have taken place in the field. Invest in your networks and the inherent relationships before asking for favors during your job search.
- Highlight the Hiatus in Your Cover Letter
Another step in explaining your career mismatch is to mention it briefly in your cover letter. Prospective employers are likely to notice the gaps when they go through your resume, mainly if you took a lengthy hiatus. Mentioning the hiatus that you took to for personal or academic reasons shows the hirer that you are not a problematical employee.
- Draw Attention Away From the Gap
Another crucial resume tip for women who want to explain their career disparities is to draw focus away from the gap. Most people re-entering the workforce make the mistake of using a sequential format for their resumes, making such breaks glaring.
If you are making a come-back after a prolonged hiatus, choose a functional set-up over the chronological one. This way, your can direct focus on your achievements and skills instead of periods where you operated in different organizations.
The functional format is ideal because it affords flexibility, creating a positive outlook and masking the gap. The intention is to focus on what you bring to the organization instead of the hiatus you took. Consider professional resume editing help to ascertain that the document is well-formatted.
- Explain Your Strengths Instead of Gaps
Research suggests that women are more likely to pause their careers to focus on raising their children. Those who successfully re-enter the workforce focus on their strengths. So, don’t exhaust the limited space in your resume explaining it further.
Rather than focusing on the gap, use your resume to underline your key attainments and professional abilities. Show the employer what you bring to the organization. Most employers will easily overlook those career disproportions as long as you have specific skillsets and work experiences that set you apart from the crowd.
- Be Honest
When creating your resume, be honest. Don’t fabricate things to mask the career disparity, regardless of your motivations for taking a hiatus. Showing honesty portrays integrity, and employers will see you as being truthful. In any case, the lies people tell to explain their variance s are often discovered at some point. Remember, it is possible to acquire practical experience and skills in non-traditional settings, including the home environment.
- Decide What Jobs to Include in the Resume
The resume is a very brief document, and not all your endeavors and skills will get the room. As a woman re-entering the labor force, take time to determine what jobs should be included. Review the position and pick only those experiences that relate to the role.
It would help if you also decided whether your career divergence needs to be highlighted in the resume. If you already have years of experience in different positions and with several organizations, you may not need to indicate the employment gap. As a rule, applicants must only include the most recent and most relevant work experiences and skills.
For women in business who are re-entering the workforce, career gaps can be challenging to explain. However, by using a resume format that makes the format less evident and honest, you can win your prospective employer. Emphasize your skills, indicating what you have to offer.