Have Gaps on Your Technical Resume? How to Handle Them

People in most fields are uncomfortable with gaps in their resumes.  IT recruiting firms find that if you can handle them correctly, though, these won’t hurt your chances of landing IT jobs.  Here are some of the basics that IT recruiters think you should know about gaps on technical resumes.

1. Small gaps are not a problem. Especially in the tech field, where contracting and project-based work are pretty common, gaps of 3 months or less aren’t a huge deal.  Layoffs happen, contracts end, and interview processes can certainly drag out the time between unemployment to being hired.  IT staffing firms won’t bat an eye at a gap or two between contracts on your resume.

2. A gap beyond 6 months will require more explanation. IT recruiting agencies find that employers will be more concerned with an unemployment gap of 6 months or more.  This is at least in part because there’s such a dearth of qualified IT professionals to fill the open jobs in pretty much all of the US.  The unemployment rate for tech professionals is notoriously low- lower than the national average.  In January, the tech unemployment rate was only 2.9 percent, while the national average was closer to 4.7 percent.  If you’re not getting hired for a job after 6 months, employers wonder if the problem may be you, not the market! If you have a gap like this, make sure to address it your resume.  Give a brief, professional reason why you were unemployed.  Did you take time off to take care of a member of your family, raise a young child?  Have a health issue yourself?  Take time off to go to school?  These are all the kinds of reasons that technical recruiters find will not scare off potential employers. Make sure to note this on your resume!

3. Make the most of your gaps. If you’re unemployed for a longer period of time and are not encumbered by responsibilities to your family, health issues, etc, you should take this time to keep your skills sharp.  Do a side project on your own. Volunteer to do work for a local charity or non-profit.  Get a certification.  Learn a new technical skill.  IT staffing companies find that if you can do things like this with your gap, you’ll be much more appealing to employers.  After all, technologies change at lightning speed.  You want to stay in the game and stay sharp so you’re ready to hit the ground running when you do land a new role!

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Gaps on technical resumes
Got gaps shorter than 3 months? Don’t worry about it! Photo credit: Aitoff via Pixabay.


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AVID (Applications, Voice, Internet, Data) Technical Resources is a leading Information Technology recruiting company. Specializing in placing contract and permanent personnel in both Infrastructure Support and Applications Development positions, AVID has a national presence supporting clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 100 companies. Headquartered in Boston, MA, AVID has achieved tremendous growth since the firm's inception in 2003. This has triggered numerous national awards and recognition, such as being named to Inc. 500 Magazine's list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Privately-held Companies in the US in 2010, 2011 and 2013. Additionally, the firm boasts of having more than 100 five-star reviews on Google from clients and candidates who rave about their experience and interaction with the firm's recruiters.