New Ways to Explain Gaps on Your ResumeApril 20th, 2012
The job market has been very difficult in the last few years. Many perfectly employable job seekers have been experiencing prolonged periods of unemployment through no fault of their own. Layoffs coupled with the scarcity of new jobs have caused many people to have gaps in their resume. Hiring managers still prefer to see consistent job history on a resume, so job seekers have some extra work to do when discussing their experience in an interview. Here are three ways to address the issue of employment gaps.
- Plan Your Answer. A hiring manager will ask what you were doing in that period of time. Whatever you do, don’t say “Looking for a job.” Explain what you were doing during that time. Were you volunteering? Freelancing? Taking care of family? School? Traveling? Working on your novel idea? Whatever answer you give, it needs to be thoughtful and compelling.
- Stay Positive. Not all reasons for lack of employment are negative. Stay focused on the positive information. If you were laid off or fired, spin your explanation in a productive way. Let them know that the layoff gave you time to expand your experience. If your gap is because you pursued other interests, talk about your accomplishments. Talk about your travels. Talk about specific successes you had at school. Employers want to hear about the things that make you a better choice than someone else.
- Always be Honest. If you do nothing else when answering this question, make sure that you are 100% completely honest. However, don’t be honest in a way that makes you sound negative. If you were fired from your job, don’t tell them how you and your boss didn’t get along. Instead, make sure they know that it wasn’t a good culture fit for you and it made sense for you to move on to something else. Confidence and integrity are two things every employer is looking for in their next new hire.
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