Regardless of the reason for your break, returning to the workforce after an employment gap is daunting. This is particularly true of executives looking to rejoin the workforce after an employment gap. The thought of applications and upcoming interviews can be intimidating, especially when the employment gap causes you to downplay or disregard your substantial and impressive work history. Approaching the job search correctly requires a deliberate commitment to maximizing self-confidence. If you don’t believe in yourself, why would a hiring manager? Self-confidence must define your job search, beginning with the resume.
Areas of Expertise and Professional Summary
You only get one chance to make a first impression. As a result, your resume must begin with a strong professional summary and areas of expertise. By beginning with your defining career achievements and professional attributes, you will communicate to hiring managers that you are qualified, whether you there was an employment gap or not. Furthermore, skillfully crafting a professional summary and articulately outlining your areas of expertise will illustrate your capacity to think critically and communicate clearly. Professional skills and commitment matters infinitely more than an employment gap.
Expand the Scope
If you have a relatively short employment gap, differentiating tenure by only including years of employment is wise. This subtle omission will draw attention to the overarching and broad consistency of employment, emphasizing that you have been employed, and that your employment gap was an insignificant exception. With an emphasis on your substantial achievements, both you and the hiring manager, will understand everything that you have to offer. By effectively contextualizing your employment gap, you will set yourself up to confidently discuss the employment gap without hesitation, should the topic arise.
An important way to aptly trivialize an employment gap, no matter the duration, is to create a functional resume. Instead of chronologically outlining your employment history, and leaving your employment gap stranded in your resume like an elephant in the room, begin with a heavy-hitting trajectory of your career accomplishments. Outline the employers, positions, and years of employment at the bottom. Focusing on what you have accomplished will not eliminate your employment gap, but will change the way the hiring manager views your employment gap. You have done substantial things, and deserve a new position. Remember that even if an employment gap felt like a dull break, it should never be a deal-breaker.