Employment Gaps are more common than you may think and occur because of numerous reasons. Here are just a few of them:
- Being laid off
- Health problems
- Caring for family
- Raising Children
It’s important for job seekers to stop dreading the employment gaps in their resumes. Having a lengthy employment gap doesn’t relinquish all hope in finding your dream job; it’s just an obstacle that can be overcome if you know how to tackle it.
If there were one thing I could pass on to our readers about employment gaps, it would be this. The gap itself isn’t crucial to prospective employers; it is your ability or inability to address your employment gap that will decide your fait.
So here’s how to address an employment gap.
1. Address your employment gap prior to the interview. Think about it, why wait to explain the reason behind the gap on your resume? You might not get the opportunity to meet an employer, so address the elephant in the room at the first opportunity.
A good way of doing this is by dedicating a few sentences in your cover letter to addressing your employment gap. By doing this you reveal your entire hand on the table, so if you get contacted for an interview you know you are in with a real shot.
2. Honesty, it is integral in this whole process. A detailed explanation into why you have been out of work isn’t necessary. However it is vital you prepare an elevator speech that clearly informs the hiring manager of the reason behind the gap. You don’t want to drag a lie into a new job and then have to carry it throughout your entire tenure.
3. Soft-sell your gap. Illustrate how you have retained your skills and industry prowess. It is important you visibly show you’re ready to work and make an impact. In certain situations employment gaps may have actually taught a person life lessons, skills and experiences that are valued in the workplace. If you have been able to increase job relevant skills, or volunteered be sure to make note of this during your application.
We hope these tips help our readers tackle a sticky conversation that many of us will face at some point. For your daily dose of First Avenue news, follow us across social media.