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Hole on a Resume

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Unemployment, sabbatical year, parental leave, sickness ... The reasons for which an employee can have "holes" on your resume can be numerous! Nevertheless, these periods of inactivity should not be hidden from recruiters.

What is a hole or a void on your resume?

A hole on a resume is actually a period of inactivity during your career, usually more than six months. This period during which you have not worked can be explained in several ways. The holes or voids of a resume are particularly visible on chronological resumes, where the information in the "Training" and "Professional Experience" sections are sorted by dates. So, if you have had a gap year during your studies this can be seen like this on your curriculum vitae:

2005-2006: Master of Information and Communication at [University Name], [City]

2000-2003: Bachelor's degree in Information and Communication at [University Name], [City]

In this case, it can easily be seen that the candidate had a period of inactivity during the 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 school years.

The origins of the holes on a resume

On a resume, the holes that appear can have different origins and reasons. Here are some examples:

- unemployment: unfortunately more and more common, unemployment affects many employees who find themselves unemployed from a few weeks to several months or years.
- parental leave: some employees decide to take a break from their professional career to take care of their children. If this is more often the case for women who prolong their maternity leave, this may also be the case for men who want to take the time to bring up their children.
- sabbatical leave: a trip around the world, a great trip, a reconversion, a personal project ... The reasons to take a year or several years for yourself can be varied and varied! This type of gap is becoming more common among employees who need to take a break at some point in their career.
- a sick leave: a long-term illness can also lead to a period of inactivity that appears on your resume. The disadvantages of the holes on a resume

Unfortunately, the holes in your resume have no advantage in that they often give a bad image to recruiters. Indeed, they are wary of periods of inactivity candidates because they are afraid to recruit an employee often subject to sick leave or has experienced a period of prolonged unemployment and is therefore not fully aware of the latest tools or technical advances in your sector. It's up to you to prove to them that this is not the case and to make sure that you have made this period a strength!

The golden rule in case of a hole on your resume: be honest!

If you have experienced a period of inactivity during your career that creates a "vacuum" on your resume when it's written, don't panic! This is the case for many employees and you are certainly not alone in this situation. Even if one is tempted to ignore this period, it's best to be honest and mention on your resume the period during which you didn't have activity and the reason. Because even if you don't do it, recruiters may realize it and ask a lot of questions! Better to take the lead by being honest and giving them the reason for this "hole" on your resume.

What to do in case of a hole on your resume?

If the golden rule in the event of a hole in your resume is to be honest and mention this period of inactivity, here are some other rules you can follow:

- don't give too many details: if it's important to be honest and to mention your periods of inactivity ... it's also important not to say too much! Indeed, the recruiters don't need to know all your life and it's important to go to the basics and only register the really relevant information on your resume, without going into detail. One or two sentences are enough to explain to recruiters why you have a void on your resume. For example: "After going around the world for a year, I'm ready to work and put to use the new skills acquired during this experience!"
- put forward the positive: a period of inactivity doesn't mean that it's a period where you have done nothing or learned nothing, quite the contrary. It's therefore important to always stay positive when justifying a void on your resume to show recruiters that we are coming back to the job market stronger!
- to highlight your centers of interests and extra-professional activities: when you have had a period of inactivity, everything that can put forward and reveal your personality is more than anything! Indeed, it's here that you stand out from other candidates and show recruiters how your profile is interesting. Look after the " Interests " and " Extra-professional activities " sections!
- to show that we have been on the lookout in your field: even if you have had a period of inactivity, that doesn't mean that you have remained cut off from the world and have not followed the news in your sector activity. It's therefore important to show recruiters that you have remained up-to-date through the courses or trainings you have taken, but also your readings or volunteer activities. All this matters!
- show that one has remained active: in general, it's important to show that one remained active during one's unemployed period, and not only in one's professional field. A political commitment (without indicating the party) or a status of member of an association of parents of students can quite put forward some of your competences, as your faculty of persuasion or organization! It's therefore important to mention these types of activities on your resume.

Prioritize the functional resume to the chronological resume

When writing a functional resume, the purpose is not necessarily to show all of your professional experience, but to mention only those that are of real interest for the position in question, classifying them by skill. Thus, in a functional resume, the dates don't matter: it's the acquired experiences and the know-how that counts! This resume format is therefore particularly suitable for people who have gaps in their resumes and have had periods of inactivity because it focuses on skills, qualities and know-how, not the chronological career.

What to say in case of a vacuum on your resume at the time of the job interview?

If your resume contains holes and you justify these periods of inactivity, you will have to expect the recruiters to ask you questions during the interview. "Why did you choose to take the time to raise your children?" "Why did you go on a world tour and which countries did you visit?" "" Are you fully recovered from your long illness? " "Did you take training during your period of unemployment?" All these questions, you must prepare before the job interview in order to answer honestly recruiters but above all be able to show them the positive that you have drawn all of these experiences and the new skills or know-how you have acquired. In this way,

Our advice

If you have experienced one or more periods of inactivity during your career, it's important to mention them and explain them on your resume in order not to leave an unexplained "hole" that could attract the attention of employers and generate many questions. Nevertheless, it's essential to stay positive by showing what you have learned from this or these period (s) and what your activities were, professional or not. In this way you will focus on your personality and skills, and will make recruiters want to work with you!


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