If you are applying for a new job, one of the things that could be on your resume is an employment gap. Trust us when we say hiring managers like to pounce on this and get as much information as they can from it. If you are not well grounded in how to explain resume gaps, you might be setting yourself up for below-par answers when the issue comes up.
For those of you who don’t know how to, you’re in the best hands to learn how you can explain the gaps in your resume.
What is an Employment Gap?
Simply put, an employment gap is a period in your resume when you were out of a job. It could range from months to years.
These gaps can be due to employees taking time out to attend a course, add a new skill, support family, etc. It can also be a result of layoffs or other industrial actions.
Whatever it is, let’s look at how you can explain it to the hiring manager and still have a shot at the position.
How to Explain Resume Gaps to Hiring Managers/ Recruiters
1. Remain Honest
Hiding the employment gap is something a lot of people feel naturally inclined to do. We are not writing this for you to be like a lot of people, so choose to be honest about your employment gaps instead.
If possible, address the gaps and the reasons behind it in your cover letter to the organization. The fact that you have acknowledged it will make it less of a red flag in the eyes of your recruiter.
2. Be Prepared
Even though you have explained it in your cover letter, that is no reason to rest on your oars. If you haven’t spilled it in the cover letter, don’t assume the recruiters will just run over your resume and not notice.
Look at the gaps yourself and make essential notes on why they are there. Remember the first point on this list when coming up with an answer for that. Even if it makes you feel awkward, try to shed as much light on it for the recruiters in your preparatory speech
3. Mention Values
It’s established that you were out of work for some two years, but what did you do in that time? This is a huge make-or-break point for you.
Make mention of the skills you picked up in that timeframe. If you worked on some smaller projects, make them known. You could have gone freelancing, and that is something worthy of mentioning too.
4. Stay Confident
There is something about confidence that makes people stay tuned in to you. Even if you were laid off from your last job, don’t let your tone show defeat, depression, or sadness.
All of these send mental signs to the hiring manager that you might not fit the new position. In addition to being honest and prepared, present your case with the highest confidence you can muster.
We would be lying if we said recruiters don’t have their reservations about people who have been out of a job for a while. Taking the above tips into consideration though, you are sure to be given a fair chance.
If there is any tip you find instrumental when dealing with employment gap questions, let us know about it in the comments.