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Candidate Help & Advice

Ways to Fill Employment Gaps

New Skills photo from ShutterstockIf you have been unemployed for more than a few months, this may raise a red flag with potential employers. If you are laid off or need to quit a job unexpectedly, these create gaps in your work history. You need to learn how to cover these gaps so you don’t lose your reliability and still get the job.

If there are only two candidates left for a position and the employer needs to choose between these two, then, the employer may choose the one who is still employed thinking that his skills are more up-to-date compared to the other candidate who has been unemployed for a while. In order to avoid this type of situation, you need to either have a very good explanation such as an important family issue or do something to cover the gaps in between. Below you can find some ways to cover the employment gap.

1. Finding Temporary Work: Finding temporary work assignments is a good alternative when you are looking for a full-time job. You can earn some money as well as gain new skills and don’t just sit at home watching TV while waiting for your phone to ring. These temporary work assignments can be freelance work or a work that is completely different than your field. For example, one of my friends was looking for a new position as a senior analyst in a bank and she worked as a part-time store associate for four months as a temporary position while looking for her full-time job.

2. Getting more education: Although this is a more costly alternative, it is a great way to add new skills to your resume and improve yourself.  You can enroll into new classes or courses to gain expertise and to get ahead of the competition. Especially, if there is a certificate program in your field such as a CPA, CFA, CISA, now is the time to get that certificate. Taking classes in your field can also expand your network and may help you to get new interviews since there may be people who are employed in companies that are on your wish-list.

3. Volunteer: Volunteering and working in non-profits as a volunteer is another good option when you are in between jobs.  This will also help you expand your network and gain new skills to add in your resume. In addition, many corporations require its employers to volunteer and do community service work and this will be a plus for you in the interviews since you are already volunteering.