Gap in Employment History? Don’t Worry
A concern we commonly address with our clients is how to handle a gap in employment history. The reasons are numerous why you may have gap and while it could pose some challenges there are a few key things to remember.
Be Clear and Straightforward
There is no need to bend the truth if you are trying to explain to a potential employer why you have a gap in your employment history. If you decided to take 6 months off to travel, tell them that. They will probably be interested to learn more. If you had a baby and took maternity or paternity leave, let it be known. Most adults have kids and can appreciate the attention required for newborns. Did you take time off to pursue a hobby? Let it be known, you are demonstrating that you are dedicated to a passion and you can transfer that passion to a new role.
What If I Was Laid Off?
If you were laid off, keep things upbeat and focus on the positive. Give the most concise explanation possible for you being laid off and move on. Attitude is everything. Employers want to hire someone with a positive attitude that can be effective in a new role. Exploit your positive self and be upfront about the positive impact you can have in a new role.
Show Your Involvement
Whether you were laid off or took voluntary time off, you should strongly consider using a portion of your non-working time to stay involved in some way. Study current industry trends, work on obtaining am industry certification, take a college course to expand your knowledge and give you a boost of confidence, read lots of books. You might be surprised; an employer may put a lot of value on your active involvement not working as you may bring a fresh perspective to their organization.
Get Yourself Prepared
The more time you spend preparing to re-enter the job market the better your chances of success. Get your resume ready. There are a number of formatting techniques that can skirt around an employment gap and focus more on your effectiveness and positive qualities. Consult a Certified Professional Resume Writer if you have any doubts. Properly preparing for job interviews can go a long way towards your success. Work with friends, family, or an interview coach to go over tough questions, such as addressing employment gap, so you feel confident answering the questions.
If you still have any doubts, just keep in mind that there are many people who’ve been in the same situation as you who are now successfully employed. Stay positive and invest the time and resources into yourself that you deserve.
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