Writing a resume after an extended period of unemployment can be intimidating. For many job-seekers, the fear of highlighting their “employment gap” may be greater than the fear of not finding any job at all. But with the right strategies in play, anyone can create an eye-catching resume that effectively communicates their potential value despite the absence. Here are ten tips on how to write a great long-term unemployment resume:

1. Highlight Your Transferable Skills

One of the most important aspects of a long-term unemployment resume is to focus on the skills that can be transferred from your previous experience. Skills such as leadership, organization, problem solving, communication and attention to detail can be applied to almost any job and can demonstrate your potential value to the employer. It is important to emphasize your transferable skills when crafting your resume as they will help to bridge the gap in your employment history.

Be Specific

When listing your transferable skills, it is also essential to be as specific as possible. Instead of simply stating “strong writing skills”, explain how you have used your writing skills to develop innovative campaigns and create engaging content.

Highlight Your Achievements

Your transferable skills are only as good as your accomplishments. Don’t just list off your skills – make life easier for the reader by providing specific examples and metrics to back up your skills. This will demonstrate that you have the aptitude to be successful in the job.

2. Prioritize Job Chronology

Another important tip when writing a resume for long-term unemployment is to prioritize job chronology. You don’t need to fill the page with your job history – just include the last ten to fifteen years of your work experience. It’s not necessary to include every job that you’ve ever held. The main idea here is to focus on your more recent and relevant experience.

Be Selective

When selecting job history, it can be helpful to think of job experience in terms of relevance and impact. Consider which jobs have contributed the most meaningful impact, and prioritize them when constructing your resume. As an example, it is likely more important to include your recent analyst job as opposed to your part-time retail position from eight years ago.

Focus on Accomplishments

When adding job chronology to your resume, it’s important to emphasize the impact of your work. Instead of simply stating your role and duties, focus on adding any tangible accomplishments that you have made. This includes goals you have achieved, projects you have completed, and any awards or recognition you have received.

3. Utilize Accomplishment-Based Profiles

An accomplishment-based resume profile is a great way to draw attention away from your unemployment gap. This type of profile will showcase your relevant accomplishments, qualifications, and skills in one section, giving the reader a summary of what you can bring to the role. Accomplishment-based profiles can be a powerful tool for those who have long stretches of unemployment in their job history.

Write Out Accomplishments

When writing an accomplishment-based profile, it is critical to be detailed and honest about your achievements. Don’t be afraid to list out any hard numbers, such as cost savings or client retention rates. It can also be helpful to include any awards or recognition that you have received.

Use Metrics

Metrics can be an extremely powerful tool when used correctly. They can validate your competencies and make a strong impression on the reader by showing the impact of your work.

People Also Ask

How do you write a resume when you’ve been unemployed for a long time?

When writing a resume after an extended period of unemployment, it can be helpful to focus on your transferable skills and highlight your accomplishments. It is important to prioritize job chronology and consider which jobs have been most meaningful. An accomplishment-based profile can also be a helpful tool to draw attention away from any gaps in your employment history.

How do you explain gaps in employment?

When explaining gaps in employment, it can be helpful to be open and honest in the resume. If there is an extended gap in your job history, it is best not to leave it unexplained. An explanation, such as traveling or pursuing education, can be added to the resume to provide some context. Also, any volunteer work or other meaningful activities can be included to highlight the value you can bring to the role.

How do I list a layoff on a resume?

When listing a layoff on a resume, be sure to explain the circumstances of the layoff. This can help to provide the reader with some context and demonstrate that you are not leaving the job history unexplained. Also, it is important to emphasize any positive accomplishments made during the job. This will showcase the value that you have brought to the role and make a lasting impression on the reader.


Writing a resume after a long period of unemployment can be daunting. However, with the right strategies in play, anyone can create an eye-catching resume that effectively conveys their potential, despite the absence. Highlighting transferable skills, emphasizing job chronology, and utilizing an accomplishment-based profile can help job-seekers to put their best foot forward and showcase their value.