Here at Spark Hire, we want to help candidates find their dream jobs using the power of online video. We get a lot of questions from readers about how to use online video in their search for a great job. These posts will address those questions about how to find success in your job search.
Question: How do I explain employment gaps in my video resume? My resume has a few gaps I’m afraid employers will be concerned about, how do I use my video resume to set their minds at ease about my candidacy? — Liz from Colorado
Good question, Liz! Most companies are concerned when they see employment gaps on a resume. But the truth is the reasons for these gaps can be many and varied. The video resume can be a great tool for you to explain these gaps in a better, more persuasive way than on a traditional resume. Plus you get the added bonus of addressing the issue before you ever fire up your webcam for the video interview or step foot into the office.
Here are just a few things to keep in mind when explaining employment gaps in your video resume:
Keep It Honest
It’s important to tell the truth, even if the truth is uncomfortable. There are plenty of reasons why candidates might have employment gaps on their resume. For instance, you might have left the workforce to take care of a child or sick relative.
If the reason was due to being downsized or fired, make sure you explain the situation without bad-mouthing your former company. No employer wants to hear a prospective hire go on a 30-second rant about their last workplace. It’s unprofessional, and makes the new employer think you’re liable to bad-mouth their workplace when you’re not happy.
When explaining an uncomfortable situation, sometimes the tendency is to over-explain, over-justify, and just plain ramble. Reign in this impulse in your video resume. You want employers to think you are well-spoken and confident to land your dream job. Rambling will just undercut your message.
Include Other Experience
Just because you haven’t been working a 9-to-5 job doesn’t mean you haven’t been doing anything during your employment gaps. If you’ve been freelancing or volunteering, then you’ve still been working during your employment sabbatical. These are all important things to bring up in your video resume. Tell hiring managers a bit about how you’ve been sharpening your industry-specific skills by volunteering. Employers just want to know you haven’t been sitting back on your laurels during employment gaps.
It can be complicated and even awkward to explain a gap in your resume. The great thing about video resumes, however, is they allow you to address this question head on, before you even get to the interview process.
Do you have a question you need answered? Spark a conversation with the Spark Hire team by submitting your question to firstname.lastname@example.org or in the comments below.