Employment Gaps are more common than you may think and occur because of numerous reasons. Here are just a few of them:
It’s important for job seekers to stop dreading the employment gaps in their resumes. Having a lengthy employment gap doesn’t relinquish all hope in finding your dream job; it’s just an obstacle that can be overcome if you know how to tackle it.
If there were one thing I could pass on to our readers about employment gaps, it would be this. The gap itself isn’t crucial to prospective employers; it is your ability or inability to address your employment gap that will decide your fait.
So here’s how to address an employment gap.
1. Address your employment gap prior to the interview. Think about it, why wait to explain the reason behind the gap on your resume? You might not get the opportunity to meet an employer, so address the elephant in the room at the first opportunity.
A good way of doing this is by dedicating a few sentences in your cover letter to addressing your employment gap. By doing this you reveal your entire hand on the table, so if you get contacted for an interview you know you are in with a real shot.
2. Honesty, it is integral in this whole process. A detailed explanation into why you have been out of work isn’t necessary. However it is vital you prepare an elevator speech that clearly informs the hiring manager of the reason behind the gap. You don’t want to drag a lie into a new job and then have to carry it throughout your entire tenure.
3. Soft-sell your gap. Illustrate how you have retained your skills and industry prowess. It is important you visibly show you’re ready to work and make an impact. In certain situations employment gaps may have actually taught a person life lessons, skills and experiences that are valued in the workplace. If you have been able to increase job relevant skills, or volunteered be sure to make note of this during your application.
We hope these tips help our readers tackle a sticky conversation that many of us will face at some point. For your daily dose of First Avenue news, follow us across social media.
Imagine you’re the recruiter or the hiring manager for the position you last applied for. Your inbox is piling up with hundreds of emails containing potential applicants resumes. How do you stand out amongst the competition in order to get the job you want?
Why don’t you ditch the regular old resume and try something new? Something bound to make you stand out in the eyes of recruiters and hiring managers.
Let me Guess. Now you are intrigued but puzzled by what you could possibly do different. Let me provide you with the inspiration you need, here are three brilliant job applications that landed a dream job.
Matthew Epstein made a video application to become a member of the Google product market team, sporting a vintage 80’s moustache. If you haven’t seen the video, it’s sure to inspire your inner creativity. As Matthew says, “Let the moustache be with you”.
SO WHAT HAPPENED?
Matthew followed up his initial video outlining the results of his campaign that has a whopping 1.3 million views to date. Matthew got his interview at Google and caught the attention of many start-ups. He may not have got himself a role at Google but he scored himself a great job at SigFig.
Alex Brownstein spent a measly $6 on his campaign to attract the attention of five directors who ran his favourite advertising agencies. His message was simple, but the way he delivered it was truly unique.
Alex implemented an adwords campaign, bidding on the names of directors at his favourite companies, banking on them to Google search their own names. Ultimately when they Google searched their own name; his ad was sponsored and appeared first directly linking them to his CV.
SO WHAT HAPPENED?
Alex immediately was contacted by four of five directors he included in the campaign. He quickly received two job offers and landed a job. How? By standing out and doing something that even a director had never seen before.
Still lacking inspiration?
3. Snapchat Story Resume
Just last month, Elski Felson created a Snapchat story to replicate his resume for social media giant Snapchat. He covered their job criteria, his background, education and skills all in an encapsulating way.
SO WHAT HAPPENED?
Time will tell, but one thing is for sure a creative application can show how you match a company’s culture and just how bad you want the job.
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If you are hunting for a job at the moment it may feel as though you’re up against so much competition. In fact, at present there’s so much competition that it can feel as though you’re playing in the World Cup, on your own, against Germany, blindfolded and with both your legs tied together!
The good thing is that there are a few little tricks you can use to get yourself ahead of the competition. These tricks may not appear on Dynamo’s next TV special but they may just help you land your next job.
Have a look through your resume, does it read like you’re applying for a job or does it read like Russell Brand’s next Booky Wook? If it’s the latter – cut it down! You’re applying for a job, not attempting to win the Pulitzer Prize!
All you need is a resume which is clear, concise and relevant to the role – winning an award for ballet dancing when you were 12 is lovely… but no use to your next employers (unless they have a very specific hiring policy which only includes former youth ballet award winners).
And remember – all word processers have spell checkers. USE THEM! Also - have someone proof read it before it’s sent off. On a resume we were reviewing recently somebody listed "pubic speaking" as a skill. Presumably, they either meant "public speaking", or were applying for the wrong job, but in any case because it was spelt correctly no spell checker picked it up. Although it gave us quite a laugh, the candidate did not make a great impression, especially after emphasising their "attention to detail".
Used correctly, LinkedIn can be one of the best tools in your arsenal – even though, admittedly, most people use their account to annoy their friends who aren’t on LinkedIn by inviting them to join LinkedIn numerous times a week.
Make sure you update your profile to match your resume. If LinkedIn tells the world that you’re a floor cleaner at McDonalds – that’s great, if you still are. If you’re now a manager at McDonalds and you want to apply for management jobs, make sure LinkedIn knows that too.
A friend of mine is a stand-up comedian, when he started performing he did what most wannabe comedians did by e-mailing and phoning people asking for work, but he also went along to a lot of stand-up comedy shows so that he could get the attention of the people running the shows by showing them how keen he was. Most of these places were so impressed that they let him perform for them and give him a platform to show just how good he was.
Now, I’m not saying you should turn up at the company’s headquarters uninvited and watch them working all day. Sure, you might get their attention – along with a restraining order.
What I am saying is that after sending your application in you can show your interest by doing things like dropping a message to the hiring manager and following up on every application to show how keen you are.
Just make sure you know where to draw the line between eager and stalk-y! A message is good, finding out their weekly schedule and turning up everywhere they’re meant to be isn’t!
You’ll be surprised how many employers background check social media before they hire someone. Facebooking or Tweeting pictures of you taking drugs, videos of you doing something stupid at work or commenting about how you drank alcohol on your lunch will probably jeopardize the chances of you getting work…Unless you’re Charlie Sheen.
Whatever you do – don’t speak negatively about your current job on your social media profiles. Show your next boss that you are a very professional person by only posting positive things about your current job (if you really have to say something bad about your job then text it to your friends ).
In the future you won’t need to apply for jobs, employers will just search the an internet database for a number of different skills and contact the people who meet their requirements.
Until this Fantasy Football League-style database becomes reality, SEEK is the best way to get yourself out there. You can search for different jobs and easily apply for the ones which suit you. Even if you're not looking for a new job, keeping an eye on SEEK will give you a good indication of how strong your industry is performing. You can view the number of open vacancies, applicable salaries, and see which particular skills are in high demand.
These tips won’t guarantee you that dream job, but they will make sure that you have that little bit extra that will put you ahead of the competition. And remember – never give up and find yourself an advocate within the market – that’s why
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