Résumé gaps take several forms—here’s how to plug them

If there’s a stretch of employment (or unemployment) or an absence of relevant skills tarnishing your résumé, don’t worry; just follow this advice.

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That’s why it’s so important to devote time to them.

Taking a closer look at these gaps can be tough. It takes courage to admit that you may not have everything a job requires. The temptation is to bury your head in the sand or let someone else tell you where you fall short. Objective and unemotional self-assessment is the key: Look in the mirror, and be honest with yourself.

Once you identify your career gaps, the next step is to fill them. Here are some suggestions:

Start by ruling out jobs for which you’re not qualified.

Analyze job descriptions on the websites of your target companies to help determine which roles you could realistically perform. You may rule out some positions because you lack particular training or other skills. An objective expert such as a career coach might provide a reality check and direction.

Earn another degree, or take pertinent courses.

Sometimes, a competency gap is actually an education gap, which can be addressed by earning another degree or certification, or by taking a course. It will give you a competitive edge and demonstrate your willingness to take the initiative and improve your skills. It can also tip the scales in your favor even before you’ve completed the degree or course.

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