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Fantastic Ways to Handle a Gap on Your Resume

Part of my process for writing a client’s resume is that I want them to show me any resumes they already have. Old resumes are helpful, if for no other reason than to be a model for further discussion.

One of my recent executive resume clients had an 18-month gap between two past positions. Every other transition he’d had was directly from one company to the next. However, this gap stood out, so I asked him about it.

Left his job to take care of a sick parent

“I left my job to take care of my mother, who was terminally ill.”

In other words, he had uprooted himself and moved hundreds of miles away to help his mother, and when she finally passed away, he acted as executor and settled her estate.

Explaining away the gap

I recommended that we include a brief line item to account for this time, formatted in a similar manner to the other jobs on his resume. Hiring managers and recruiters like to follow a candidate’s career timeline. Gaps can be a red flag if they’re not explained.

Clearly, this candidate had a very good reason for not being professionally employed at the time. Explaining it made the time away from work instantly made it into a non-issue.

In conclusion, you can use the same approach to deal with other gaps. Staying home with your children, taking an extensive or unusual trip, or going back to school are just a few of the situations that benefit from a brief explanation on the resume.

Phil Hurd is a Nationally Certified Resume Writer (NCRW), Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Nationally Certified Online Profile Expert (NCOPE). He specializes in creating resumes, LinkedIn profiles, biographies, and cover letters for executives and individual contributors across all functions in technology-oriented industries.

You need knowledgeable and experienced help developing your own personal marketing documents. Please book a free consultation call to discuss your project with Phil by clicking this link:

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