Today I Learned...

Key Takeaways:

f you're an older adult looking to get back into the workforce, you may find that gaps in your resume are holding you back.

These gaps could be caused by unemployment during the recession, extended periods of unpaid leave, or even a lifestyle change that prevented you from working for a few years (like becoming a full-time caregiver). While it might seem like there's nothing you can do about these gaps, there are actually some ways to handle them—and make sure they don't impact your job prospects!

Gaps in your resume can be a challenge, especially if you're an older adult. But there are ways to handle them.

First, be honest about the gap.

Don't lie about what happened or how long it was—instead, explain why the gap is there and how it impacts your job search. If you left your last job because you needed to care for an aging parent, say so! And include a brief explanation of how that experience has prepared you for this position.

You don't have to go into detail about what happened during your gap, but if it's relevant, give a brief explanation of why you left your last position (if possible). For example: "I was laid off due to the company downsizing and had no other choice but to look for another job."

Next, highlight what you've been doing during your time away from work.

Did you take classes? Volunteer? Travel? Start a side hustle? Include these activities in your resume as well as any skills or knowledge gained through them.

Finally, don't forget to mention any relevant experience or certifications—and explain how they make you qualified for the job.

Don't panic! There are always ways to make those gaps seem more manageable and less threatening.

Be sure to explain the gap in your resume as part of a larger story about what you've done in life so far. Focus on what you've been doing since then, and highlight how it relates to what you want to do now.

Another option is to talk about the skills and knowledge that you gained during that time period, like how you worked on a project at home or took classes at the local community college.

Remember, you’re not alone—and there are plenty of resources out there to help you through the process.

Whether it’s a resume writer or a mentor who can give you some advice on how to handle gaps in your work history, don’t be afraid to ask! Don't forget your network either; sometimes all it takes is one conversation with someone who's been through this before for them to share their own story and give you some invaluable advice.

If you're an older adult looking to learn more about how to write a resume, check out our class specially tailored for adults over 55: Create Resumes for Volunteering or Jobs.

Or try our Career Consulting service to receive 1:1 support with resume review, practice interview sessions, and job and volunteer search advice.

Aug 14, 2022