Do you have an employment gap and are wondering how to explain it?
An employment gap is a period in which someone was not working. There are all kinds of reasons you may have left the workforce. From managing your mental health, dealing with aging parents, raising your kids, a pandemic, and more.
And now you’re poised to make a comeback. But there’s this roadblock in your way—your employment gap!
Don’t worry—it’s not as big as you think.
Here are some tips to help you navigate your employment gap as you embark on your new career journey.
Tips on How to Navigate Your Employment Gap
Your employment gap doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Remember—there are many reasons why someone might have an employment gap.
By being honest about your employment gap, you can show hiring managers and future employees how to focus on your skills and why you would be an asset to their company.
- Include the experience gained when relevant. Transferable skills like organization, team building, and project management can come from many places.
- List the reason for the gap as its own job.
- Use the time away to train or upskill. There are places like LinkedIn Learning, Udemy, and Coursera that offer low-cost or free certificates. Check your local library for access to some platforms with your library card.
- Use a resume format that minimizes the gap. Some formats focus on skills, strengths, and accomplishments more than professional experience.
- Don’t lie. Don’t invent something that isn’t true.
- Be positive and don’t make excuses. Own your decision to leave the workforce and focus on the future and excitement about getting back.
- Keep your explanation simple, both on and off your resume. You don’t need to over-explain. Stick to the facts and keep your explanations simple on the resume and the interview.
- Practice your interview response—this will help you be clear and confident in your answer.
- Remove months from the date format on your resume to minimize short gaps.
- Address the gap in your resume, and don’t leave it to the cover letter. Many hiring managers don’t read cover letters.
Remember that most of your opportunities aren’t on the job boards. Start talking to your network about coming back and ask for connections to the industry or company you are interested in entering. Remember, it doesn’t have to be the one you left!
Own your decision
One of the most essential things about explaining the employment gap in your resume is owning your decision. Be positive and accountable for it—don’t make any excuses.
When you explain the gap, let it be a chance for you to showcase how excited you are to get back on your career journey. Show off how much you know about the company and how excited you are to join a company with values you align with.
Having a career you love can help you live a more meaningful life. By using your experience, words, and stories, you can find a job that enables you to reinvent yourself and live a life of meaning.
Do You Need Help Navigating Your New Career?
Work doesn’t have to suck—and you don’t have to settle.
I’ve gone down the path of my career journey and understand the feeling of being stuck on autopilot. Well, I’m here to help women make a change in their lives. I help women come face-to-face with the bigness of it all.
My career coaching programs help you gain a clear understanding of yourself and your fears so that you can look for the work you love.Click here to book a free consultation with me today. You can also check out my free downloads for resources on how to kickstart your new career journey.