Don’t panic! While gaps in employments can sometimes be a red flag for prospective hires, it doesn’t always have to be the case.
Having time in between jobs does happen, and there are many plausible reasons for why one has them on their resume. For instance, women are especially prone to this, due to them taking time off to have children or raise their family. Luckily, breaks between jobs are no longer a complete deal breaker – however, it’s important to be able to explain why the gap is there on your resume. Here are a few ways to tackle them that won’t hurt your chances in an interview.
Address the reason directly and truthfully
It may be tempting to fudge the truth in an effort to look better in the eyes of the interviewer, but this is a big NO. Honesty is always the best route, and employers may uncover the real reason through their research on your employment history. If the resume gap is there for a negative reason, such as being fired, speak positively about the experience at the company, as well as what you’ve learned and the skills you gained.
References and Referrals
Having someone vouch for you can be a large boost. If the reason behind your resume gap is any reason to cast a doubt in the hiring manager’s mind, being referred or recommended may be enough to change that. Just be sure that the person is able to speak to your character and professional capabilities to cast you in the best light possible.
Emphasize the values you’ve gained
Take the time to talk about what all you have done in lieu of taking a break from working. Whether it was volunteering, traveling, or being a caregiver, you can take these experiences and translate them into valuable job skills and personal traits. Another positive experience to have is pro-bono work in your field. This is an easy way to stay involved in your industry in some capacity, and will show potential employers that you still made an effort to be on top of the ever-changing landscape.
Many people with resume gaps still go on to land jobs and restart their careers. It’s very possible to get back in, no matter how long or short the break has been. The key is the ability to address the gap, why you took one, and how to highlight your strengths, experiences, and capabilities. We’re all human and life comes up – employers understand that! Regardless of the reason, it’s important to be honest and prove your worth to the company.