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With the economy of the country, the majority of students take a look at their finances and wonder how to cope with the hurdles of schooling. Most of us are able to get through it by taking on a job to rake in some cash or do something that helps with achieving financial freedom.
However, there comes a time when you feel like or have to take a break from work. It could be to write an exam which you need time to prepare for, to see the world, think deeply, and figure out your career path. The truth is that taking some time off helps prevent you from burning out, keeps you learning and inspired to develop creative and brilliant ideas amongst other things.
One thing that scares most people away especially in India, from taking such a step is the concern about the gap that break causes on their resume. Well, you don’t have to be worried. Though it may be challenging, all you need is to understand how to fill the gap of the break in your resume.
Read on to get a full insight on how to fill the gap in your resume effectively.
Update the layout of your resume
The first thing that you can do is to upgrade your resume honestly to indicate the period of time you were off work.
You can list the set of skills you possess and exclude the date of employment from the resume. This way, you are able to focus the attention of whoever is going through your resume on the interesting skills you have that makes you suitable for the job you are applying for.
An improvement to this is to group the kind of skills you gained over time into a single attractive headline. Something like Teamwork, Writing, Verbal communication, Analytical skills, etc. It helps to keep the resume short and try to draw the attention of viewers away from dates on the resume.
Be Honest and Proud About the Gap in Your Resume
As the saying goes, “Honesty is the best policy”. Let everything out in the open. Trying to hide something from your potential boss might not be a good idea. It may work at first, but if your boss eventually finds out what you tried so hard to hide about your employment dates, it could have a very damaging impact on your career. On the plus side, some experiences you had while preparing for the exam might even increase your chances of landing the job if you include them in your resume.
The truth is that, if you are able to keep the focus of your interviewer on the gap, it ultimately means lesser time for you to prove what you can offer to the organization.
Make Strategic Use of Language in Your Resume
Strategic use of language means eliminating any word that could hurt your chances of landing a job. While it’s a good idea to add descriptions of actions carried out, too much of it could have a negative impact. As much as possible, try to link your experiences to the type of job you are applying for. Make sure the resume is sharp and professional, do not portray a sense of casualness in any part of the resume. Use words like “accommodation” instead of “hostel”, “teamwork” instead of “joint reading”, and follow that trend. Do your assignment on terms used in the field you are applying for and induce those words in your resume.
Boast About the Gap in Your Resume
Most of the time, there will be some part of the events that happened while you were away that sounds very exciting to other people. Practice your story, try to bring the listener into the excitement by verbally demonstrating your experience. Be honest and tell a story that sounds believable. Make the story sound like a good thing for you and something your potential employer can reason with, not something that would be seen as a total waste of time.
Try Negotiating an Open - Door Policy or a sabbatical
If you are a student, as part of the negotiation for a new job, try to include the option of leaving when you need to. This will give you the opportunity to leave on good terms and possibly get you a good recommendation when applying for future jobs.
Most of the time, the ease of securing a new job is highly dependent on the type of industry you are applying to, also on the nature of the manager. Obviously, with a resume gap, finding a job at a yoga studio will be easier than a professional law firm. Also, some managers are extremely cautious when it comes to hiring, you need to be able to convince them that they will be making the right choice by hiring you. Try and show the skills and expertise that puts their concerns to bed.
Consequences in terms of Financial health
Make sure you have enough saving to sustain you during your gap year. You may also think of taking an internship or expenses-paid volunteer position during the break. By this way, you will keep making money, gain skills and have new experiences to boast about in front of your future employers.
After all, life is not all about a series of career moves. So, make the best out of your career gap and enjoy it.