How to Explain Gaps in Employment & Resume Gaps: 10 Tips
How to Explain Gaps in Employment & Resume Gaps: 10 Tips
As is covered over at runrex.com, an employment gap is a period, which could be months or years, when the job seeker was unemployed. There are several reasons why people decide to stay unemployed, key among them being to raise their children or start a family, to travel, due to sickness or to take care of sick loved ones, or to go to school full time as outlined over at guttulus.com. Unfortunately, gaps in employment are a big red flag for employers as, without explanation, employers may assume that you are a criminal, an alcoholic or drug addict, or worse. Therefore, if you have gaps in employment and resume, here are 10 tips on how to explain the same.
Oversharing when explaining why you have gaps in your employment and resume may lead to you divulging way too much information which could damage your prospects as explained over at runrex.com. You don’t need to share every single detail of what was the reason behind your gap in employment. This also includes instances where you have faced challenges and were forced to take a gap in employment because of a tragedy or hardship. People usually don’t know how to respond to grief, particularly strangers, and it may make things awkward. You also don’t want to break down in tears during your interview according to guttulus.com. Therefore, avoid oversharing, and keep the details to yourself.
While you don’t want to overshare, you also don’t want to be mysterious about the reason why you have an employment gap. As discussed over at runrex.com, the trick is finding the right balance between offering an explanation and oversharing. A hiring manager will feel more comfortable knowing what happened and that you didn’t just run away, which is why you should explain, without oversharing.
Explain, don’t justify
You can explain that you took time off to spend with your kids, or you needed to decompress after several high-pressure years in your field, among other such reasons. However, as the gurus over at guttulus.com point out, you should be aware that there is a difference between explaining and justifying. You mustn’t get stuck feeling like you have to justify why you stepped away from your career. Remember, you are not out to prove anything to anyone.
Highlight new skills
It is important to highlight any new skills you may have picked up during your employment gap; and no, changing a diaper under a minute doesn’t count. Here, you should mention any volunteer work, freelancing work, classes, certifications, or even conferences you attended during your employment gap. If none of these options are relevant, you can point out any soft skills you may have picked up such as communication skills, adaptability, problem-solving among others as outlined over at runrex.com. As always, you should not tell but show by offering concrete examples and situations showing how you learned the soft skill in question.
Highlight why now is the right time to come back
If you stepped away from your career without a specific timeline tied to your reasoning, then you should explain why you are choosing to re-enter the workforce now instead of a year from now for example. According to guttulus.com, you should be concise with your explanation and avoid feeling like you have to justify your decision. Just let the hiring manager know that you have done what you needed to during your hiatus and now you are ready and raring to get back to work.
As highlighted over at runrex.com, you need to be fully confident in yourself and your employment gap explanation since if you show uncertainty in your explanation and decision, the hiring manager may feel a little unsure as well. Own your decision and explain it clearly and confidently.
While you don’t want to overshare and go into unnecessary detail, you must be truthful in your explanation according to the gurus over at guttulus.com. Therefore, avoid covering gaps in your resume with dates as just writing years in your work experience without months comes off as trying to hide stuff. Also, don’t make up false reasons to explain your employment gap as employers can usually smell dishonesty from a mile away, and if you are caught in a lie then your chances will go up in smoke.
If you have a gap in your resume, then you can be sure that it will come up during your interview. Therefore, when it inevitably comes up, you don’t want to be caught off guard, which is why, as articulated over at runrex.com, you should be prepared and have an explanation ready. As already mentioned earlier, you should not overshare when giving your explanation.
Prove it won’t happen again
When explaining your employment or resume gap, the hiring manager needs to know that the situation that led to you taking the break you took from your career has been resolved fully and that you won’t be taking a break again if they are to seriously consider you for the position. For example, as outlined over at guttulus.com, if your employment gap was because of a bad car accident, you need to tell and show the hiring manager that the situation has been completely resolved or else they might wonder if you are fully capable of going back to work.
According to the subject matter experts over at runrex.com, there is no reason to dwell on your employment gap. Of course, you should be prepared to acknowledge and address it as it is right there on your resume and so you can expect it to come up. Offer an explanation, highlight the positive outcomes of your decision, explain why you are ready to get back to work again and show that it won’t happen again. Don’t overshare or spend time trying to justify your decision.