"If there is that involuntary gap on a resume, number one, you want to make sure that you cover it in a cover letter. Mention what it is. The second thing you want to do is avoid trying to stretch the truth. Definitely, you know, I know everyone will get the feeling of, you know, 'how can I do that, how can I cover up my resume?' The best thing to do is to be honest. The third thing that you can do is try and find something to do during that gap and explain it on your cover letter. For example, possibly working temporary jobs, or even volunteering or doing things with non-profits."
Olson says during your down time, there are things you can do to lower those red flags raised by resume gaps.
"If you are in between jobs, you know, the best thing to do — or one of the best things to do — is to work temporary. You know, an example of what someone could write is, you know, 'my position and many others at, you know, ABC Incorporated were eliminated due to corporate downsizing, but I'm eager to start working again.' You know, 'in the meantime I'm volunteering my time and expertise at, you know, this non-profit organization to assist with fund-raising' or, you know, working temporary, those sorts of things. But just making sure that you're not covering it up and also doing something with your time."
Olson says use a functional resume format that draws attention to your achievements, skills and strengths — something you should do on any resume.
Ed Mayberry, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.