Four Things to Remember When Explaining Employment Gaps on Your Resume

Job gaps happen. Maybe you had a hard time finding a position after college, maybe you took time off to raise your children, or maybe you took leave to travel the world. But whatever your reason, gaps in employment will likely come up during an interview, and it’s important to be honest. Lying on your resume will likely come back to haunt you and it’s not the impression you want to leave with a recruiter or hiring manager. Luckily, there are steps you can take to explain job gaps that won’t harm your chances of being hired.

Four Important Tips for Explaining Job Gaps

No need to worry about the topic—just follow these top tips and prepare to deliver a superstar performance:

Explain Job Gaps in Your Cover Letter

Your resume will list your past jobs and what you accomplished during those positions. But your cover letter—the first thing a hiring manager will see—is the perfect opportunity to briefly mention why an employment gap appears on your resume.

Be Up Front

When talking to an interviewer about your work experience, don’t wait for them ask: just get right to it. If your leave was voluntary, explain why you took it; for example, you had a baby, took care of a sick relative, wanted to travel, etc. If it was involuntary, give a brief overview of what happened without being negative, and even note what you learned from the experience and how it made you a better worker.

List Skills You Gained

Every experience is a chance to learn something new. During your employment gap, how did you grow as a person? Maybe as a parent, you learned how to time manage and multitask, or maybe as a world traveler you gained an appreciation for other cultures. Whatever your reason for a leave of absence from the working world, what did you gain because of it?

Be Positive

Your attitude is one of the most important aspects in a hiring manager’s decision. So keep your outlook sunny and look on the bright side when you describe employment gaps. This shows maturity, professionalism, and how well you adapt to situations and learn because of them.

Need Guidance in Your Job Search?

Sometimes it takes time to find the right job, and Happy Faces Personnel Group can help. We place qualified candidates with positions in the Atlanta Metropolitan Area and we’re looking for you! To learn more, contact us today to speak with an experienced recruiter.


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