And there it was, the end of studies. Not with the expected degree or even the full summer term. It was simply impossible to go on with the degree, the sudden new degree seemed felt far better. Does this sound familiar? Then perhaps you’ve also had this not so pretty gaps in the resume. It makes no real difference whether it was a wrong decision, a personal moment of truth or simply the impact of a bad boss: It is possible that the dream resume does not end up as clear as we had initially planned for. No one is immune to it and even celebrities can go through periods of not knowing where their career is going . And this is not entirely a dead end. Contrariwise, it is often better that you’re aware of your final goals and career aspirations before taking up a path to stick with it in the long term. We have a few tips for your resume today, especially taking into consideration the German recruiter perspective. So when applying in Germany, here’s how to integrate these ‘periods of self-discovery’ or gaps in the resume.
It is also important to note that if your resume is free of any big gaps, it is best to maintain it so. Job hopping, long term unemployment and being fired is not seen in good light by recruiters, so it is important to be careful in this respect.
Infographic: Why do gaps in resume matter?
We have tips if these gaps do exist though, read further…
Applying in Germany: Gaps in the resume no problem- our tips!
1. Concealing gaps is futile
The important thing to remember is that in case your resume has gaps, these can’t immediately be explained as profitable when perceived by others. In any case the recruiter will find these gaps in your resume and perhaps question them in the job interview . Behaving like you didn’t know of the gaps can then be a real problem. Because hiding facts will be seen as an overall negative for your profile and may even be a knock-out criteria set by few. Stay calm and get some career pride going- you need not hide.
2. Showcase the positivity
Most ‘gaps in the resume’ tend to be less dramatic. These include, your year abroad travelling, a successful attempt at a degree on the second attempt or a sabbatical. The right way of explaining these – in the resume or the interview- is critical. A year abroad is a harbinger of independence, developing your language skills and also getting your inter-cultural skills up a notch. This is something the HR is likely to appreciate and notice. A re-orientation during your university or college degree can be showcased as an instance of courage as opposed to a lack of will or diligence. Such life decisions tend to teach us a lot more about us as professionals, and you need to showcase the positivity from each of these. It is not as bad as you think it is!
3. Showcasing the unemployment period cleverly
As senior professionals with extensive experience, it is naturally possible that temporary unemployment may feature in your resume. In this gap, it is important to try and mention all the skill building (e.g. new language course, community college degree) you’ve worked on to improve your positioning in the career market. If this gap is really large, you could for instance, clearly mention aspects like ‘special skills or knowledge’ on top of your resume even before you mention your current company/ career. This can potentially add weight to your ‘special’ qualifications and you may get noticed!
As you can perhaps see, when applying in Germany, gaps in the resume are no reason for despair. It just means that you may have taken a longer route to reach where you are now. It is important to see all these gaps as learnings in themselves and not hide them. If you go with this mindset in your next interview, you’d perhaps have far fewer issues explaining these aspects. We wish you luck!