Fill Gaps with Bridges to New Finance Jobs Opportunities
You’re updating your resume to prepare it for your search for finance jobs, but you freeze in panic. There are gaps on your resume. And they don’t look pretty.
You know that unemployment rates are up in America. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the finance sector has suffered 430,000 individual unemployment casualties. That’s almost double last year’s rate (217,000), thanks to coronavirus. Surely, these gaps are not going to serve you well at all in your search for finance jobs, will they?
In this article, you’ll learn five strategies to deal with those currently ugly employment gaps on your resume, so they don’t damage your job search.
1. Never Hide Employment Gaps
Honesty is certainly the best policy when it comes to employment gaps. If you don’t flag them up, employers will sniff them out one way or another. It is much better coming from you, on your own terms.
A lack of trust from the off will blacklist your name for good with the company. Thus, hiding them simply isn’t worth it. It’s all about how you present them.
2. Adjust Your Resume Focus
Make sure your skills are the center of attention on your resume. Research shows that your resume has only six seconds to impress the recruiter. Therefore, you need to make sure they’re looking at what’s most important (and most likely) to land your perfect finance job.
A study by The Ladders found that the first thing a recruiter looks at is your current job title and company. This is typically followed with your employment history. When composing your resume, place your skills directly beneath or next to your current job title.
There’s no time for recruiters to ask questions until they’ve first seen why they should hire you.
3. Make Sure You Answer Questions About Employment Gaps
OK, so you know there are employment gaps. The hiring employer knows there are gaps. It’s imperative that you explain them, on your resume and in an interview.
Explain your gaps in employment as follows:
- Explain the reason behind the gap. The explanation is often very reasonable, such as being laid off from a finance job because of cost-cutting, traveling, or a family situation that required your presence.
- Reduce your risk. Ensure the employer knows that the reason for the break has ended. You must reassure them that you’re highly unlikely not to break from your finance career again.
- Have a closing sentence ready. In an interview, if you feel uncomfortable with having to explain all this, you’re likely to waffle. Have that closing sentence prepared to wrap things up for both parties. Sound self-assured and confident in your explanation, and the employer will accept what you have said.
4. Show How You Used Your Time Productively
Employment gaps don’t have to have negative effects on your finance career. In fact, they can often enhance your growth and development.
Ways you may have developed could include:
- Taking on temporary work following layoff – showing you’re proactive and determined
- Gaining new skills and qualifications while unemployed
- Fulfilling your desire to travel – this has nipped the travel bug in the bud
- Personal accomplishments – if you’ve taken time off to complete something amazing, or perhaps care for someone, sell this as a personal quality of yours
However you spent your time during a gap in employment, reassure the employer that, while you fully utilized your employment gaps to your advantage, you don’t foresee a repeated employment gap in the future.
5. Don’t Allow Your Social Media to Tell a Different Story
Employers are likely to check out your social media. Don’t allow it to give you away. If you explained a gap in employment by saying you were studying, a month of photos showing you partying in Tijuana will not be well received.
Don’t let all your hard work and skills get kicked to the curb because of those bad-wrap photos and posts. Read our article on how to detox your social media before you apply for finance jobs.
You’ll find that when it comes to applying for finance jobs, employment gaps only raise red flags when they’re unexplained or masked. If you declare them, explain them, and own them as a personal and professional advantage, you’ll have nothing to worry about.