If you've been away from the workforce for a little while or a long while , and you're now looking for a way to step back into the game and pick up where you left off, you're not alone. Few people start working the day after college and continue uninterrupted until they retire. Life just doesn't happen like that. For that reason, explaining a gap in employment when you build a resume or cover letter, or when you interview, is something you might need to do at some point. So how do you go about it? Simply put, an employment gap is any period of time you were between jobs, but it's usually understood to be an extended period of time that's longer than a typical job search in your industry, perhaps six months or more.
How to Explain Gaps in Employment on a Resume
How to Explain an Employment Gap on Your Resume
Explaining gaps in employment can be intimidating, but there are a couple of effective methods you can use. And then being upfront and comfortable with your answer. Once you have your reason prepared… Here are the general steps to follow when explaining gaps in employment in the interview:. I did this for the past year. Since then, my siblings and I have hired a full-time caregiver so I no longer need to be present, and am fully available to work now and in the future. I saw that mentioned on the job description for this position… can you tell me more about that? How do you explain gaps in your employment on your resume so you can GET interviews in the first place?
How to Explain an Employment Gap on Your Resume (with examples)
Most employers are looking for competent workers to fill key positions quickly, with the expectation that new workers will stay around for many years and become valuable assets to the company. Therefore, a big gap in work history could be viewed by some employers as a sign that you are not looking for a long term commitment to a job. You need to be honest on your resume about any big gap in work history , but you can be creative in your explanation to present your history in the best light possible.
When it comes to a gap in your employment history, the best defense is a good offense -- upfront and honest but without defending or too much explaining. Your cover letter allows you to gently introduce your employment gap in an artful manner. Mention the gap and briefly explain the circumstances in a positive way. For example, if your previous employer laid you off, detail how even though you searched for a new job during those two years, you also used the time to do things for your own personal improvement, such as attending informal classes to learn a foreign language or organizing your home office. Then detail something those experiences taught you, how it will be beneficial in your next job or how it led to a career change decision, as applicable.