How to Address Employment Gaps in Job Applications

A recruiter will often address an employment gap on your resume if it is visible, and you need to know how to answer the questions about it. What to do when this occurs? First of all, be honest – don’t hide any gaps. Secondly, you can include only the past 10-15 years of your experience in relevant positions – this way, you won’t have to worry about giving reasons for old, irrelevant employment gaps. You might also address the gaps directly in your cover letter, hence avoiding uncomfortable questions during the interview. Do you want to learn more? Then read on!

Addressing Employment Gaps on Your Resume

So, how to address the reasons for the employment gaps in your resume? Here are some tips and tricks!

Be Honest

First of all, be honest when explaining the reasons behind your employment gap. During the recruitment process, the employer wants to ensure that you can be successful in the position, so you need to show them that you’re trustworthy and that the gap won’t affect you in the long run.

Be Brief

While you want to be honest, do not overshare – be brief and proceed to the next question. If you say too much, it’s possible that you’ll do more harm than good.

Include Only Relevant Gaps

If you’re not going back to work after taking a career gap, but rather you have had a break 10-15 years ago, you can skip it and start listing only the experience that you got after the gap. After all, your positions from 20 years ago will likely be irrelevant anyways, and you’ll avoid uncomfortable questions.

Address the Gap in Your Cover Letter

It’s also good to address the gap in your cover letter. This way, you’ll have time to think about how you want to explain it, and you’ll likely avoid uncomfortable questions during the interview.

Prepare for Answering Questions About Your Employment Gap

No matter how long your employment gap was, you will likely have to explain it – even if you mention it in your cover letter, you might get a short question about it. Therefore, you should prepare in advance – practice answering questions about the employment gap when getting ready for the interview.

Think About What You’ve Learned During the Employment Gap

A good way to address your employment gap is to briefly explain the reasons behind it and then proceed with telling the employer what you have learned from it. Did you get any extra certifications during it or embark on a life-changing journey? Focusing on the positive sides of your employment gap is an excellent way to show that you can adapt to changing situations and that you’re constantly developing.

Choose a Good Resume Format

Some CV formats are more skill-oriented than experience-oriented, hence making employment gaps less visible. You can opt for one of such formats to drive the recruiter’s attention away from the career breaks.

Reasons for employment gap on resume

Good Reasons for Employment Gaps on Your Resume

You know how to address any employment gaps on your resume. Now, let’s take a look at the reasons behind them that are considered “good.” These include:

  • Time spent looking for a new job (unless it’s really long – this might prove that there were reasons why employers didn’t want to hire you).
  • Being laid off due to the changes in your organization.
  • Becoming a stay-at-home parent.
  • Medical leave.
  • Relocation.
  • Taking the gap for further education/development.

The Takeaway

Employment gaps on your resume might be problematic, but if you address them properly, they might even become an advantage. If you’re still unsure how to do this, check out our interview preparation services – we will help you get ready for the questions about your career breaks.

You might also read: Embarking on a Successful Career Change

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