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This post is from Brie Weiler Reynolds from the FlexJobs partner site.

Welcome to our “Work From Home Q&A” series. They ask a question about remote work that is answered by a guest expert.

Below you will learn how to ask your own question.

This week's question comes from Kathleen:

"It's been a while since I updated my résumé … Can I do anything to stand out because I haven't worked for a while?"

Looking for a job gap

The first thing I would recommend is to have a section on your resume that fixes the gap for several reasons:

  1. One study compared applicants who gave a reason for their job gap to those who did not. It turned out that applicants who gave a reason for their job gap in their resume and cover letter received almost 60% more interviews than those who gave no reason at all.
  2. Applicant tracking systems are often programmed to scan resumes and add work appointments to determine how much experience an applicant has. You can also mark and sometimes close CVs with work gaps.

Having a section of your CV that fills the gap with information will improve your chances of getting past the applicant tracking systems and initial recruiting screenings – and getting you interviewed.

Here are two examples of sections on career breaks in resumes:

WORK EXPERIENCE

Planned career break, 09/2013 – today

    • An intentional break to focus on full-time care; Excited and full of energy to return to work
    • Stay up to date on professional associations, online training and regular discussions with colleagues and mentors about digital marketing and industry trends
    • Volunteered with the Smith County School District in various roles in organizing major events

EXPERIENCE

Career break, 07/2013 – 09/2015

    • One of several people fired due to a change in corporate strategy
    • Consistently received excellent performance reviews from managers and colleagues; separated on good terms

Other things you could add to your resume are:

  • Any occasional or formal training that you completed while away from work
  • A "Technology Knowledge" section introduces the tools and platforms you are familiar with for digital communication, as well as business-related programs such as Microsoft Office
  • A strong "Summary and Key Competencies" section above, highlighting your key skills and experience for the position you are applying for

About me

I am a manager and coach for career development at FlexJobs, where I help people find flexible work, including remote, part-time and freelance jobs. Before I joined FlexJobs in 2010, I was a career advisor for students and alumni. I have a Master of Science in Human Resource Management and am a certified advanced resume writer.

Do you have a question that you would like to have answered?

You can ask a question about the “Work From Home Q&A” series free of charge. Simply click on "Reply" on the Money Talks News newsletter and send your question by email. (If you have not yet received the newsletter, you can also register for free: click here and the registration field will appear.)

All previous answers from this series can also be found on the website “Work From Home Q&A”.

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