Employment Gaps

Definition

The time periods when job applicants appear to be unemployed, or absent from the work environment, are known as employment gaps.  Certain resume formats highlight these lapses in continuous employment more than others.

Explanation

Employment gaps may be intentional, such as going back to school.  They can also be unintentional, such as the time spent between jobs or otherwise unemployed.  Recruiters and potential employers are often suspicious of job hunters that have unexplained employment gaps appearing on their resume.

These gaps in employment history are highlighted when using the chronological resume format, which requires the listing of work history in reverse chronological order.  When significant employment gaps exist, the applicant should consider using a functional resume format, which highlights skills and accomplishments.  If the gap is relatively short in duration, the combination resume format can be used effectively.

Related Terms

functional resume, combination resume, chronological resume, reverse chronological order, discouraged worker, dislocated worker