Explaining Gaps on Your Resume

“I’m noticing a gap from April to November … what were you doing during that time?”

It’s a dreaded interview question that no job candidate wants to hear. Explaining an employment gap on your resume isn’t fun, nor is it easy. However, if you prepare ahead of time to answer the question, you can spin things to your advantage. A gap on your resume does not have to be the difference between getting hired and being passed over in favor of another candidate!

Here’s some advice for explaining gaps on your resume:

Always be honest.

Don’t leave things up to your interviewer’s imagination — explain why you weren’t working during the gap in your employment history, and be honest about it. Whether it’s because you took time off to raise a child or travel, you were laid off due to a bad economy, or you were fired, always tell the truth. By being honest, you’re showing the interviewer you have integrity, and that’s a quality that isn’t always easy to come by.

Highlight the positives.

When the resume-gap question comes up, it’s important you highlight the positive things you did during your time off work. That might include undergoing continuing education to become certified in a specialized area, attending seminars or conferences in your field, freelancing, volunteering or consulting.

Even if your time away from work was because of personal matters, spin it to your advantage. Explain you learned a lot about communication while traveling overseas, or how you experienced great personal growth while serving as a caretaker for an ailing member of the family.

Redirect the conversation.

It’s best to address any gaps in your resume directly. That doesn’t mean you have to dwell on them. There’s a subtle art to redirecting the conversation once you’ve explained the gap in your resume. Once you’ve detailed your reason for the gap and what you did during your time away, explain you’re ready to get back to work and are excited for the opportunity to join the interviewer’s organization. This will usually steer the conversation back to the job itself.

High Profile can make sure your resume is seen by the top companies in your area. To find out more about how our staffing service can help you, give us a call today at 972-991-7900 or contact us online.

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