Like most workers, odds are you have a gap somewhere on your resume. You may have taken time off for personal reasons or had difficulty finding employment after being downsized or let go. No matter the reason, you should be able to find a municipal job despite unemployed at some point.
Here are four actions you can take to explain a gap in your resume.
Before your interview, determine how you’ll describe your reasons for taking time off from the workforce. Municipal supervisors understand that life happens. Perhaps you co-chaired an event to raise money for a nonprofit organization. You most likely picked up important skills such as persuasively communicating, masterfully organizing and quickly adapting to unknown situations. Determine how the skills and experience you gained during your time off apply to the job you want. Create a short, compelling statement that explains your viewpoint. If you stayed current with events affecting the municipality or participated in professional development, be sure you mention how those activities will benefit the role.
Always remain honest about why there are gaps in your resume. Your work history and reasons for leaving can be verified. Although jobs come and go, your reputation for being truthful can last a lifetime. Perhaps you took off to travel the world, care for an aging parent or raise a family. Maybe you had a difference of opinion with your boss or were laid off due to a workforce reduction. Provide evidence of strong performance as you explain why you left. Present written recommendations from supervisors and co–workers confirming your competence.
Remain confident when explaining your gaps in employment. Keep in mind that most workers take time off by choice, such as to go back to school, or because they have to leave the workforce, as in the case of downsizing. Even if you were let go, you most likely picked up valuable skills during your break that add to your professionalism. If you took action to correct any issues that lead to your dismissal, mention the steps you took to strengthen your abilities. If you’re targeting a job requiring different competencies, emphasize how your strengths and transferrable skills make you best suited for the position.
Maintain a Positive Focus
Emphasize constructive activities you participated in during your gap period. Perhaps you volunteered, completed workshops or classes or earned certifications. You most likely enhanced your soft skills such as problem-solving and critical observation. Show enthusiasm for returning to work and why now is the time to do so. Demonstrate why you’re an excellent fit for the municipal position you want.
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