How to Explain a Gap in Employment to a Potential Employer

How to Explain a Gap in Employment to a Potential Employer

Worried about gaps on your resume? These can definitely make a hiring manager think twice about you. However, there are some ways to explain the gap and get into the good graces of a potential employer. The trick is not to say too much or too little and simply offer the right details. Here’s how.

How Do You Explain A Gap in Employment?
Don’t ignore it.

Even if you’d like to ignore the gap, employers will ask about. And if you don’t have a ready answer, the chances of getting short listed for an offer will fall dramatically. Instead, make sure you explain the “what” and “why” behind your gap and then move on to your strengths and accomplishments. 

Don’t share too much.

On the flipside, it is possible to go overboard and provide too many details about why you have a gap in your employment. If you’re asked about it during an interview, for instance, you might panic and start talking, non-stop, about how much you hated your last job and were desperate to leave. This might be true, but it’s not going to help you land the offer.  

Explain why you have a gap.

Be honest about the situation. Whether you took time off to care for family, or were laid off, there’s no shame in it. However, do you let employers know the reason behind your gap, so they’re not left guessing about whether you were fired or are unemployable. 

Talk about what you learned.

If you were laid off, for instance, and took an online course or attended an industry seminar, make sure you highlight this information. If you were home with your kids or caring for a sick parent, you probably gained certain soft skills, like organization, time management, delegation and more. Being able to discuss lessons learned from the experience can go a long way in transitioning a negative into a positive.

Put the hiring manager at ease.

Gaps can make hiring managers nervous. It’s your job to put them at ease and explain why you’re the best fit or why you’re ready to re-enter the workforce. While you don’t have to justify the gap, do make your background as relevant as possible to the position in the process. 

Get help finding a new job after a gap. 

Whether your employment gap has been months or years, Gill Staffing can help get your career back on track. As a leading employment agency, serving companies across West Michigan, we can connect you with exciting opportunities that enable you to overcome your gap and reach your career goals. Search our jobs now to get started.