How to Handle GAPS in Employment

There is no such thing as a perfect job candidate. Many job seekers have gaps in employment on their resume. Gaps in employment will be considered a red flag unless you provide an explanation.

There are several possible explanations including:

  • Volunteering your time:  It is important to stress the fact that you were doing something positive or productive during gaps of employment. Volunteering is an example of your core values and can also enhance your skills and network.
  • Caring for a family member:  Many individuals leave a full-time position to care for a family member. It is important however to stress that your care is no longer needed.
  • Conducting an active job search:  Explain that you didn’t want to conduct a job search, while employed by your current company as a matter of ethics. You wanted to spend most of your time focused on your job search.
  • Enhancing education or skills:  If you registered for additional training or education, this gap of employment will be viewed as a positive because you have enhanced your resume.
  • Traveling:  Taking time off to travel can be an advantage if you have gained understanding of other cultures. Often this type of career break to travel makes you currently more focused on your career.

To explain away gaps of employment stress and focus on the positive actions you took while you were unemployed. This changes a possible problem area into a positive.

Travis Jones - CEO of Career Development Partners

Written By Rick Christensen

Rick has been a career consultant for over 20 years, serving a very broad-based and diverse clientele. His specialties include effective group facilitation, one-on-one coaching and consultation at all levels including senior executives.

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