– by Beau Peters, with additional insights by Heather Kaiser, American Recruiters Certified Professional Resume Writer.

Beau Peters is a creative professional with a lifetime of experience in service and care. As a manager, he’s learned a slew of tricks of the trade that he enjoys sharing with others who have the same passion and dedication that he brings to his work.



American Recruiters Professional Resume Services

After the pandemic that started in 2020, unemployment rates skyrocketed. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that unemployment was as high as nearly 15% that April. Impacted by lockdown measures, companies laid off, furloughed, or cut the hours of their workers.


With the economy now getting back on track, many people are returning to the workforce. The resumes are rolling in but with a notable difference: employment gaps caused by the pandemic.


Employers are aware of this crisis and may be more understanding of these gaps. However, it’s important to keep in mind that in the past, hiring managers have been less likely to hire candidates who have been unemployed for six months or more. If you are in the job market, it’s wise to make sure you stand out as a prospective new hire even if you were unemployed for a period due to COVID-19.

Focus on Your Experience

You still might be the best person for the job even with a gap on your resume. That means that it’s critical to make sure that hiring managers understand your experience and skills. Employers are more interested in how you can help their company than a brief period of unemployment in a difficult time.


Your resume and cover letter need to be optimized to showcase how you are a good fit for the company and the position. American Recruiters has experts that can help you organize and update your resume to highlight your experience for the job and help you explain those gaps in a professional manner. Now is the time for you to explain those employment gaps.


Here four ways to turn those gaps into a positive:

1. Interim “Lower Position” Work

In 2017, CareerBuilder found that 94% of surveyed employers “wouldn’t think less of candidates who, during the recession, took lower positions than their previous ones.” They also viewed temporary or contract work as another good choice following layoffs. Even if you took a job outside of your field or only worked part-time, don’t feel ashamed to share a change in position that kept you afloat.


Instead, hiring managers will see that you are diligent about remaining employed even in challenging times. Be sure to share your search for employment in your field during this period. This should be discussed in more detail in your cover letter. Never explain why you took a position on your resume.

2. Education

That same CareerBuilder survey asked hiring managers what was the best way for people to use those periods of employment. They found that taking courses was second only to taking on alternative work. Any training in your field should be added to your resume, especially if you gained a certificate or degree that complements the job you are seeking. Again, this can be mentioned in your cover letter as a productive use of downtime during the pandemic.


During your interview, discuss how this additional training has strengthened your skills. Training others or writing about your past work skills and experience in a blog, magazine or other format is also a valuable addition to your resume.

3. LinkedIn and Networking

Of all the social media, LinkedIn is still the most popular for both recruiters and job seekers. If you don’t have an account, set one up now. Include your current resume. Be sure to create a positive impression on prospective employers by using a professional profile picture.


Networking on LinkedIn is also a very good way to keep in touch with peers and companies that you may not have considered in the past. Share articles that are both interesting and relevant to your industry. Becoming an active participant in industry groups will also help you to build critical connections that can lead to job opportunities.

4. Rebranding Your Skills

During the pandemic, many people had to act as caregivers for their family members while schools and care centers were closed. For others, child custody issues caused by the coronavirus turned work schedules upside down, forcing some people to take an extended leave from their jobs. If this is you, you can positively address these resume gaps. A Certified Professional Resume Writer can help you think through the “business” side of managing your new normal while at home.


Remember that nearly everyone across the country was impacted by lockdown measures, so your prospective employer may be sympathetic. But you can also rebrand the skills you employed as a caregiver as well, including tasks like budgeting, time management, and coordinating schedules and paperwork. Share what you learned performing these administrative skills in your interview and how they can help you be a valuable addition to their firm.

Nailing Your Interview

As you can see, gaps are less critical right now than how you handle your interview. This is a good time to practice talking about your employment gaps as well as answering other interview questions that are designed to trick you. You should appear not as someone eager to get any job but as someone who has been actively improving yourself to further your career.


Research the company and the people who will be interviewing you. All publicly-traded companies will post their annual reports and proxy statements on their website, which have a wealth of information. Smaller companies may not have this information readily available, but you can look at their website and other sites such as for more information. You can use this information to convince them why you are the best fit for the position. Make good use of the time before your appointment to investigate any recent news or events that will impact the job you’re interviewing so your interviewer will know you are up-to-date on the industry.


Resume employment gaps are more common now following the pandemic. However, that does not mean you should sit back and expect hiring managers to understand. With a little extra effort, you can stand out from the crowd to land that job.

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