The tech industry is extremely competitive, and a great resume is your ticket through the door. If you have a gap on your resume, however, you may be concerned you could lose out on great job opportunities. The good news? If you know how to address a resume gap, you can overcome potential objections and position yourself as a top tech candidate.
Address the Gap Head-On
When it comes to a resume gap, honesty is always the best policy. In today’s employment market, hiring managers aren’t as afraid of gaps as you may think. They understand people get laid off or take time off to raise children, earn a degree, care for an ailing loved one, learn a new skill or deal with a personal illness or setback. If you address the gap immediately and honestly, you can move on to more important topics like your tech skills and the impact you’ll make on the job.
Turn a Weakness Into a Strength
A gap in your resume can actually be a great springboard to discuss your strengths. If your gap is related to skills, experience or knowledge, honesty is still the best policy. Acknowledge that the gap exists, but turn it around by touting a strength.
A statement like this can be very powerful, “The job posting indicated you’re looking for expert Ruby on Rails skills, and I would classify myself as intermediate. However, I reached intermediate status in a very short time because I learn quickly and spend my free time practicing on open source projects.” Here, you’ve acknowledged the gap but also pointed out a strength and illustrated your enthusiasm for your field.
You can use this approach if your gap is related to employment. If you spent your period of unemployment learning a new skill or volunteering your time, tell the hiring manager about it. This will show you were actively engaged in professional development, even when your career was on hold.
Leverage Your Cover Letter
If you don’t land the interview, you’ll never have the chance to talk to the hiring manager about your gap. You can get out ahead of any potential objections by creating an effective cover letter. Hiring managers scan resumes quickly or rely on automated software, so if you are worried about an obvious gap like a lengthy period of unemployment or a missing skill, be upfront about it in your cover letter. Address the gap succinctly, and spend the rest of the letter focusing on your strengths and value.
Are You Looking for Tech Jobs?
If you are a tech professional looking for new opportunities to grow your career, the recruiters at Synerfac want to hear from you. Our team will match you with jobs that align with your skills, and we can help you prepare for interviews, so you’ll always put your best foot forward. Search our tech jobs or contact a recruiter to get started today.