5 Ways You Can Avoid the Postgrad Resume Gap

By Marina Krivonossova on October 19, 2020

We’ve all seen those entry level job listings that ask a freshly graduated college student to have 5 years of experience, for a position that requires 45 hours of work at minimum wage. The bachelor’s degree has replaced the high school degree, and even candidates who went to college are struggling to stand out in the sea of qualified candidates, all desperate for a job. As we work towards our goal of job fulfillment and stability, we often can’t help but worry about the resume gap this job search will create for us. Albeit seemingly inevitable, resume gaps still aren’t something most people are proud to show off to a potential employer. However, there are ways you can productively approach that “resume gap,” keep reading to see how you can spend that time.

Volunteering with the elderly is just one of many great ways to get involved in your community while building transferable skills (image via Andrea on pexels.com)

(1) Volunteering. There’s a lot of community outreach organizations that are looking for part-time volunteers to help them get projects on the ground. These sought-after volunteers could be app developers, copywriters and editors, researchers, digital marketers, and so much more! Regardless of your field of interest, it’s possible (and often easy) to find a part-time volunteer opportunity where you can put your current skills to the test while learning new skills for the future. It’s even possible to find a volunteer gig that’ll allow you to contribute to the organization remotely, if that’s something that appeals to you. While this work is unpaid, it provides you with a great opportunity to help an organization intent on bettering the community, as well as gives you the chance to learn something new, see where your passions lie, and get some experience.

(2) Paid internships. I know that an internship isn’t quite the same thing as a real job, but paid internships come with a plethora of benefits. First of all, they’re paid. Even if the money isn’t exceptional, you’ll be provided with some sort of reimbursement for the time you sacrifice. Not only that, but internships are meant to teach you something about the field you’re interning in. You’ll often be paired with a mentor who can show you the ropes of the work environment, and potentially even open doors for you after the internship comes to an end, allowing you to stay with the company for full-time work. Even if that paid internship doesn’t turn in to full-time work, however, you’ll be able to leave the interning environment with new skills and experiences that you otherwise would be missing out on. After all, every opportunity is a learning opportunity that can be put on your resume.

Working in a fast-paced environment, such as that of a coffee shop, will provide you with skills like leadership, time management, and more (image via Afta Putta on pexels.com)

(3) Working in the service sector. In a time when you’re searching for work that aligns with your education and professional interests, it’s important to stay busy. The service sector is often discredited, but the reality of the situation is that working there teaches you so many transferable skills — customer service, empathy, patience, multitasking, leadership, teamwork — just to name a few. Plus, this sort of work is paid, and can be either part-time or full-time (depending if you want to work exclusively in the service sector, or paid this kind of work with your volunteering or internship). So if you’re looking to build your resume, practice some people skills, and create a new stream of income, the service sector is never to be overlooked.

(4) Online tutoring. This one is particularly great, because regardless of your professional and educational background, there’s bound to be a subject you can tutor others in. Even if you have no formal teaching experience, online tutoring can certainly be an option for you. After all, it is commonly said that you can’t truly know if you’ve mastered a subject until you can explain its concepts to another person. Online tutoring can be done from the convenience of your own home, and you can often work out a time with your student that works well for the both of you. Tutoring students online will give you the chance to practice talking to different kinds of people, a chance to really immerse yourself in your topic or field of interest, and the opportunity to develop and improve teaching skills that are likely to prove valuable in the future.

Freelancing opportunities may be difficult to acquire, but they’re perfect to add to your resume while you’re looking for something more long term and stable (image via Vlada on pexels.com)

(5) Freelancing. While some companies might be hesitant to hire full-time, stable employees, they may have more short-term opportunities available for freelancers. Freelancers work fixed terms, often ranging from a couple months to a year, and only commit themselves to a company for that set period of time. There’s no job guarantees or stability when you’re freelancing, but these opportunities are perfect to fill resume gaps while cementing current skills and developing new ones. Freelancing gigs are bound to be more difficult to come by than the 4 previous opportunities listed, but they’re nonetheless something still worth considering and looking into.

The learning process doesn’t stop after you leave college. The amount of learning we do as graduates only increases when we enter the real world. So if you’re not taking advantage of your free time and by learning and building your resume while you’re on the hunt for that dream job, you’re letting precious time and invaluable learning opportunities slip away. Just because you can’t immediately start working in a stable position in your field of interest, doesn’t mean you should allow your resume gaps to develop and grow.

By Marina Krivonossova

Uloop Writer
Now that she has completed her undergraduate degree at UC Irvine and graduate degree at Leiden University, Marina is spending her time working in corporate communications and marketing. She has an educational background in business, economics, teaching, and politics. Her passions include creative writing, experimenting with new baking recipes, and traveling the world.

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