As you start a new job search, one of the things you’ll have to do is to edit your existing resume. In addition to making any necessary changes to your contact information, you will also have to update your employment history. This may include addressing any gaps in your work history that exist. Here are a few tips for handling those issues.
Mention Unpaid Opportunities
Don’t forget to include unpaid or volunteer experiences on your resume during employment gaps. Whether you volunteered with a nonprofit organization in a position related to your career field or you stayed home to care for your family, mention those experiences. Many people were compelled to remain at home in compliance with a lockdown, so this isn’t unusual. If you spent that time helping your children with online learning or educating yourself, phrase those experiences as worthwhile opportunities that helped you grow.
Create a Freelance Position
One thing that many people have done and continue to do has been to work as freelancers. Often, this involves working with different clients in different time frames. You can group all of these experiences together under one heading and provide greater detail in the description of your duties or tasks. You can describe the position title as the type of freelance work you have done. For example, if you performed legal research, defining your role as a paralegal freelancer may be accurate.
Know When to Exclude a Position
You can keep your resume more concise when you know when you should exclude a job from your resume. In general, any position that you held for under three months should be omitted from your resume. If a prospective employer inquires about that time period, you can mention the job. Otherwise, there’s no reason to take up space on the resume with short-lived experiences. Under the skills section of your resume, you can include any new expertise you acquired via that position.
When you do find yourself out of work temporarily, try to use that time wisely. Take a free course through a local community college or the unemployment office in your community. You can even find free or low-cost online courses to take. By furthering your education, you’ll be enriching yourself, and you’ll have something interesting to fill in that gap on your resume.