Three Ways to Avoid Employment Gaps on Your Resume

Posted by Dawn Boyer

You’ve just lost your job. How do you keep active and involved while you’re seeking employment, and make your time without a job work to your advantage?

Nothing is more worrisome than being out of work and dreading the bills coming in the mail that you can’t afford to pay. Scarier yet is not having funds for job shopping such as gas money, child care or interview clothing. Here are several rich opportunities to add to your resume, allow you to meet new people, and network for new employment opportunities.


First, offer your time or assistance to non-profit organizations or obtain training to enrich your job skills. Many small non-profit organizations (NPOs) are desperate for grant writers, volunteers, mentors, and specialists. There is a shortage in these skills for many small NPOs who can’t afford to pay salaries for these job skills. Your local paper may run lists of NPOs needing assistance, or check out sites such as or


Get the training or education you didn’t have time for while you were working. Work toward the certifications that are increasingly important for cleared job seekers. Take classes to advance your education beyond the courses or degree you last achieved. There are inexpensive adult education classes in your city that may provide insight to a new topic.

Consulting Work

If you can’t do the education or training and can’t offer assistance as a volunteer, don’t leave your resume blank while job shopping. The next best activity is to go into business for yourself as a consultant. Shop the market for companies needing your skill set as a 1099 consultant (a local city business license may be less than $50). You never know when your skills may turn into a more realistic method to replace that lost salary. Recruiters will note you didn’t let the dust settle after a job loss and view you as a more viable candidate.

As you achieve the training, education, or volunteer work, add it to your resume to demonstrate your resourcefulness. The longer you are unemployed, the more obvious the non-productive activity, and the less viable a candidate you become to recruiters. Filling that gap with volunteer activities, education or training, and/or part-time consulting work, demonstrates you are a viable and highly qualified candidate with initiative and drive.

Dawn Boyer is a career services coach, social media management, human resources, and business development consultant. Follow Dawn on Twitter @Dawn_Boyer.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 20, 2013 7:13 am

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