Nobody likes being unemployed and even less likes admitting it to a potential new employer. Accordingly, the temptation is great to Unemployment in the curriculum vitae quite simply to conceal or to embellish. However, great care must be taken. Because an experienced personnel manager will quickly discover the deception in the job interview at the latest. We show you how to deal confidently with unemployment on your resume.
What not to do when your career is interrupted by unemployment
Claiming you’ve made effective use of periods of unemployment when it’s not true is an outright lie. And if the truth comes to light, it will ruin the relationship of trust with the company even before you have built it up properly.
So if you didn’t do any continuing education or internships during your periods of no employment, don’t make up such stops either.
If in doubt, a recruiter will call the institution and ask or ask you to provide evidence of your activities. This could maneuver you into an awkward situation. So when it comes to unemployment in your resume and cover letter, it’s better to stick to the following be transparent and honest – even if it may be difficult.
How to package unemployment in your resume
Unemployment has a negative connotation for many people, especially those affected by it. The good news: Short periods of unemployment you can safely leave out. However, this only refers to periods of time that are three months have not exceeded. And only then, if they do not accumulate.
In case of one or two periods of unemployment spread over ten years of total professional activity, it is perfectly legitimate not to list them separately. Especially if the curriculum vitae is long and detailed anyway. At Prolonged or recurring periods of unemployment However, if you are unemployed, you cannot avoid listing them in your CV.
Brighten it up with more favorable wording
Fortunately, there are enough possibilities in the German language to rewrite a career break in such a way that it hardly sounds negative. The Word choice is therefore half the battle when presenting your unemployment in your resume.
Use the formulations "looking for work" or "Vocational orientation", instead of "unemployed. Your (unwanted) time out already has an effect proactively and thus much more positively.
It is even better if you have actually made good use of your unemployment period. For example by Continuing education visits, Language courses occupied or you Volunteer have been active. Then, be sure to include these useful stops along the way. Write something like:
- Job seeker and participation in the programming course [C++] at the Chamber of Industry and Commerce [Musterstadt]
- Looking for a job, while working as a coach of the C-youth [of the VfB Musterstadt]
- Looking for a job, intensification of my commitment to the volunteer fire department [sample city]
- Job-seeking, therefore taking up a tutoring job at the city’s tutoring facility
- Looking for work after quitting self-employment/sabbatical/change of residence from [state] to [state]
When you apply for a job from unemployment
If your unemployment is in the past, it is enough to mention it in the resume in the paragraph "Career" or "Work experience" respectively. However, if you are applying for a job from unemployment, you should mention this in your cover letter to be fair. Also there proper packaging important.
Underline that you are bridging the period of unemployment in a meaningful way.
Also prefer to use the phrase "seeking employment" here. In addition, you have the opportunity to Bridging measures in the curriculum vitae in more detail underline. Point out how your community involvement has honed your soft skills, or how the company can benefit from your newly acquired programming skills. Of course, only if these trainings are relevant for the job you are applying for.
Mention self-inflicted unemployment in your resume
Do you have your last job resigned yourself? Then, briefly but succinctly mention the reason for your unemployment on your resume. Be careful not to make your last employer look bad. This will backfire. A recruiter might think that you don’t think much of loyalty and confidentiality.
The best wording for self-inflicted unemployment is "professional reorientation. But of course you have to back this up. If you stay in the same industry, better use the term "actively looking for work".
Present unemployment caused by others in a positive light in your resume
Since a company has to give very good reasons for a dismissal for personal or behavioral reasons in Germany, these dismissals issued by the employer are very rare (see box below). Most resignations will instead for operational reasons pronounced. Accordingly, you can state such a company-related dismissal quite calmly in your resume without it reflecting on you.
Possible formulations of your unemployment through no fault of your own in your resume are:
- Looking for work, laid off due to branch closure
- Job seeker since insolvency of [employer name]
- Job-seeking, caused by staff reductions due to restructuring measures
- Seeking employment, laid off for company reasons
Should you personal or behavioral have been terminated, you must also truthfully state. This is unpleasant, but only the truth will stand up to scrutiny by the ex-employer. Express your bad conscience about a possibly verifiable misconduct in the job rather authentically and clarify your development for the better.
Fill in short (but many) gaps in your resume
Some people are just unlucky: first the employer goes bankrupt, then the next job is interrupted by prolonged illness. Next job doesn’t meet expectations – and this list could go on forever. Regardless of the reasons your resume has multiple gaps, the important thing is that you honest stay.
In case of several phases of unemployment, you should list all your (involuntary) Justify breaks in employment truthfully.
The following applies: the more frequent and longer the time off, the more well-founded the reasons should be. Ideally, you can fill in these gaps through volunteer work or advanced training mentioned above.
Don’t make a secret of a period of illness or a consciously taken time out. If you want to save your breath, only briefly mention these career breaks in your resume. Refer to that you are welcome to share the motivation for this or the details about it personally in a confidential conversation.
Do not conceal long-term unemployment in your resume
If you have already been unemployed for several years at a stretch? First of all, it speaks for you that you do not give up and submit a motivated application. Even if long-term unemployment is often a stigma, you can show it off to a potential employer do not hide.
Surveys have shown that the threshold for long-term unemployment for recruiters is seven and a half months. Anything beyond that will be interpreted negatively. All the more important that you spend your time reasonable and proactive use.
You can compensate for longer periods of unemployment with good reasons and by taking advantage of training opportunities. These are limited to Advanced training not on measures mediated by the job center. Especially in Self-engagement namely shows that you are not lying on the lazy skin.
- Is a foreign language helpful for your job search? Then check with the local VHS. They often offer installment payments for course fees, too. Perhaps some courses are even subsidized by the office.
- On the Internet, sites like Udemy and Google offer free Online seminars around everything that has to do with new media – certificates of participation included.
- You can also continue your education with books. In the Public library you don’t even have to buy them.
With a detailed presentation of your self-initiated efforts, you can prove to the recruiter that you are a good candidate be committed and motivated and keep your expertise up to date. Feel free to include your expertise in strategically placed half-sentences in your cover letter. This way you can confirm that you did not make up anything in your resume.
The longer you’re out of work, the better you can do with high self-initiative points. For 77 percent of recruiters this is a selection criterion for new hires.
Summarize the most important facts about unemployment in your resume
- Hide your unemployment.
- Invent nothing to look better.
- Use periods of unemployment to Further education.
- Justify your unemployment at least barely.
- Use positive, but truthful rewrites.
Gaps in the curriculum vitae have long been a part of the majority of industries. Most personnel managers know this too. However, they will only turn a blind eye if you don’t let the unemployment period pass by without doing anything and if you are honest with the information you give them.
Then unemployment is very clear on your resume not an exclusion criterion for employment.