Gaps on a resume can be a red flag when it comes to re-entering the workforce. Explaining these employment gaps on your resume and during interviews can be a daunting task, especially if they were not a result of a global phenomenon. Employers are usually more understanding if you lost your job during a financial crisis or a recent pandemic.
No matter how valid your reason is, -be it dealing with the emotional baggage of an ended relationship, grieving the loss of a loved one, or help your partner with the newborn,- unfortunately, those of us with employment gaps have to defend from extra scrutiny. This is because employers may make the unfair assumption (and judgment) that your skills declined during your time off.
The strategy is you need to persuade the employer that the time you took off from work was used productively.
We compiled several ideas that may help with explaining your employment gaps on your resume and interview later.
- Getting some learning
If you were unemployed for any reason but used that time to take online or offline courses, achieve certification, or even go back to school, simply stating so is enough to cover the employment gap. This answers the key question that the recruiter has if your skillset deteriorates during their employment gap.
2. Bridge job
Was there something else you did other than skills upgrade? If you did any freelance work, consulting, or projects, list all of them on your resume to fill these employment gaps and play up the key skills you used. This should be done regardless of the status of your venture because hands-on experience can look even better than courses.
Even if you’re not able to build your technical skills, “filling” the employment gaps on your resume with unpaid or project-based experience will help sharpen up your resume. Not only does it help you look active, but such activities also open doors.
3. Personal matters
It’s understandable if you may not feel comfortable talking about personal leaves that are strictly personal, to a hiring manager, because you think they have nothing to do with your professional life. The trick is to deliver it as brief and concise as possible on one sentence of the personal issue in general that halted you from employment in the past. Explain your readiness to resume your career at the moment. It’s okay not to go into detail since your choice to keep your personal life separate from your professional life is completely justified.