How To Address An Employment Gap On Your Resume

September 1, 2021 Catherine Tacopina

An employment gap can be an uncomfortable thing to talk about during an interview! While you may hope that a hiring manager won’t mention it, chances are if they brought you into the interview, they’re already highly aware. The good news is that an employment gap isn’t the red flag it used to be, and having one isn’t going to take you out of the running for the job. Most employers will be understanding, especially if you are moving forward in the interview process. 

Instead of worrying, you should focus your energy on preparing for any questions about your employment gap or how you plan on addressing it. To help you get started, here are three strategies for discussing an employment gap during an interview:

Be honest

There could be a variety of reasons why there’s an employment gap on your resume. For example, some of the most common reasons for an employment gap include:

  • Taking a sabbatical
  • Getting laid off 
  • Starting a family
  • Going back to school

Regardless of the reason for your employment gap, it’s important that you’re honest about why it’s there. While reasons like going back to school and starting a family are easier to explain, it can be challenging to talk about being laid off or fired from a previous role. Despite this, being transparent about the situation is your best option. Being dishonest will reflect poorly on you, and it could be the reason why you don’t get the job.

Discuss what you did during the employment gap

If you have an employment gap on your resume, you should go into the interview prepared to discuss what you were focused on during that time. Some employers who see long gaps on a resume may worry that your skills have become outdated or you aren’t up-to-speed on the latest industry trends. To minimize these concerns, talk about what you did to be productive during that time. For example, you can talk about how you have since obtained professional certifications, spent time volunteering, or expanded your skillset.

Explain how  you can transition back to work

Employers may also express concerns about your ability to transition back to the workforce. If you have a longer employment gap, you’ll need to be proactive about showing you can hit the ground running. One of the best ways to do this is by explaining how your skills and experiences make you uniquely qualified for the role. This can extend beyond technical skills, especially if you have been out of the workforce for some time. Whether you took a break to care for your family or go back to school, there are many valuable skills you have learned from these experiences that can translate to a professional setting. It’s just about learning how to frame them in a way that relates back to the role!  Read also: Take A Career Break? 5 Ways To Jump Back Into The Workforce

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