When you apply for a new job, potential employers are going to look at your resume and they may notice a few career gaps. These gaps occur when you go through a period of unemployment. While this happens to almost everyone, it’s what you do with those gaps that matters.
Employers are going to ask you about career gaps and how you spent your time. You want to project that you working towards improving yourself during those times you were out of work. Did you spend your time learning? Traveling? Volunteering? Moping around? Turning these career gaps into a positive experience will not only help you personally, but will increase your chances of landing your next job. Below, you’ll find 10 ways to turn your career gaps into something positive:
Take a Class
More than likely, your field of work is constantly changing; using this gap period to enhance your knowledge or learn new things can give you a competitive advantage when it comes to finding your next job.
Whether you decide to help out at a local animal shelter or tutor kids, being able to place volunteer experiences on your resume is a real differentiator. Potential employers will see this and recognize you as having empathy and a strong work ethic.
Join a Professional Organization
Go beyond being a “member” of a professional organization. Be engaged in activities and take initiative to be a leader. Not only with this help you branch out and expand your network, it will give you valuable skills for your future job.
Mentioned above, your career gap can be a great time to meet new people and expand your professional network. By doing this, you can make great connections that could end up helping you both personally and professionally.
Become an Intern
No matter where you are at in your career, an internship can be a great experience. This could be your chance to learn a new skill, humble yourself, or just ensure that you are building your resume experiences.
Do you have a lot of experience in your field? Take this opportunity to teach others about what you do. Maybe you just want to share one of your hobbies with others- no matter what, a teaching experience can help you become a better communicator, establish yourself as a leader, and allow you to meet new people.
Start a Business
Have you always dreamed of owning your own business? Do you have an original idea or innovation? This gap period could be exactly what you need to start your business. Take a chance and see what happens. Just make sure you think everything through first.
If you don’t want to start a business, but need to keep working, then you should consider freelancing or consulting. As an expert in your field, businesses may be looking for your expertise. Start small and build your way up. Be sure to use your professional network to get a few accounts.
If you have money saved up, you can use this time to travel to a new place. Doing this may not seem like it has much impact on your career, but when you travel somewhere new you are stepping outside of your comfort zone, being independent, and being detail-oriented.
Relax and Refresh
Sometimes, these resume gaps are the perfect opportunities to relax and refresh. Maybe you feel a little burnt out and you need to recover. Take this time to do that. Rediscover why you love your field of work and get your passion back.
Remember, career gaps don’t have to be a negative thing on your resume. In fact, you can make career gaps into a positive and rewarding situation. Instead of moping around because you don’t have a job, you can do something to better yourself, your community, and your career.
What have you done to fill in your career gaps? Leave your stories and advice in the comments section below!
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