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Explaining the Gap in Your Aerospace Work History

Explaining the Gap in Your Aerospace Work History

The aerospace sector is one of the most powerful industries in the U.S. It supplies five markets: Missiles, commercial airliners, military aircraft, space, and general aviation. The aerospace industry employs half a million workers in both scientific and technical positions – in addition to 700,000 jobs in related fields.

Roughly a quarter of those working in aerospace are engineers, scientists, and technicians. If you want to engage with this ever-growing industry, but have concerns about your spotty work history, never fear.

Many employees in the U.S. take a significant break from work – lasting months or years while children are born, sick relatives are cared for, and educations are completed. Employers are often understanding of gaps in your work history, provided you can explain them.

Here are four proven ways to explain (and improve) the gap in your aerospace work history.

1. Briefly Outline Your Circumstances in Your Cover Letter

When your employment gap is apparent on your resume, consider offering a brief explanation in your cover letter. For example, if you returned to school for another degree, a small paragraph on the subject will inform potential employers of your ambition and success.

2. Explain During Your Job Interview

If you left the aerospace industry on your own terms (i.e. to raise a child or return to school), a short paragraph on your cover letter will suffice.

On the other hand, if you were dismissed from a previous job and want to re-enter the field, you’ll need to explain yourself in a job interview. Throughout your explanation, be honest.

3. Make Your Gap Less Prominent

If your gap spans several months, rather than years, use resume formatting to your advantage. Instead of listing the month/year date for your previous position, simply list the year.

For example, using traditional formatting, you might write:

General Engineer

December 2017 - Present

Managing Engineer

January 2016 – February 2017

This shows a ten-month gap in your work history. However, using a modified format, you might write:

General Engineer

2017 – Present

Managing Engineer

2016 – 2017

This formatting option neatly covers the gap without being dishonest. While this pro-tip is useful, especially when it comes to getting an interview, you should always be prepared to answer honestly if you’re asked for more specific dates.

4. Emphasize Activities Taken During Your Gap

If, during your time away from the aerospace industry, you performed consulting or freelancing work, earned certifications, took related courses, or gained valuable experience through volunteerism or personal projects, mention it during your interview. You can also include this information in your cover letter.

Looking for an opportunity in the aerospace industry? We specialize in the aerospace and high-tech industries at The Patriot Group. Contact our experienced team for more information.

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