Employment gaps are inevitable. People may decide to take some time off to take care of their families, go back to school, or their current goals may not be a match with what they had in mind years ago. Whatever the reason is, it’s important to stay positive in the hiring process to avoid being out of focus.
If you’re having a hard time with the transition, here are some tips to help you bridge the gap with hiring managers and interviewers:
Stop Being Negative
Keep things positive no matter how your hiatus came about. If you were laid off, you can still explain the situation, keeping it as concise as possible. However, focus on what you contributed in your role at that job and share what the company gained because of your efforts. Put that information in the context of the position you are currently applying for.
Focus on the Positive Gaps
It’s okay to be asked about employment gaps—and in many cases they can be positive, especially if you’ve been engaging in activities related to a new role, or self-improvement. Have you been volunteering, or taking the time to learn a new skill? Have you earned a new credential? Perhaps you’ve picked up an internship that’s related to the job you’re applying for. These positive gaps can be a bonus to your profile.
Don’t bend reality. Be truthful when you explain why you have taken time off from the workforce.HR managers and interviewers speak to a lot of applicants, and can spot a fabrication.
Don’t assume you’re at a disadvantage because of a huge employment gap in your resume. Be fearless when approaching opportunities that come your way, and expect the unexpected. You never know when you’ll discover your dream job.