Job searches can be frustratingly long processes. What can prolong them even further is when you have gaps in your career. These are often red flags for hiring managers and they will fear the worst if you don’t explain them. They may think you got fired, had performance issues, or perhaps had trouble getting hired because of weaknesses in your background / candidacy.
In reality, perhaps you were home raising kids or out of the workforce caring for an aging loved one. We advise tackling the gaps straight on and communicating “the why” behind these gaps to potential employers. How do you go about doing that?
Here are some tips on how to address a gap in your career:
Address it in your cover letter.
If you have a gap that’s a few weeks or even a couple months, don’t focus too much on it. However, gaps any longer than 4-6 months likely need an explanation. And while your resume offers highlights of your career, your cover letter is the ideal space to go into more detail about your background, what you were doing during your career gap, and what you learned along the way.
Discuss how you spent your time.
Wondering how to re-enter the workforce after a gap? Be open about it. For instance, if you were home with young kids, talk about the skills you gained from running a household, such as organizational and budgeting. Or, if you were taking care of a sick loved one, discuss how you relied on freelance work and consulting jobs to fill the gap and keep your skill set sharp. Don’t forget about any continuing education seminars you attended or career certifications you earned.
Be prepared for interviews.
If a hiring manager schedules an interview with you, be prepared to address your career gap during the conversation, but only if asked. If they do ask about it, they might want more details, or simply want to verify what you included in your resume and cover letter. Be prepared to provide the hiring manager with the facts they need to move on and focus on your strengths as a candidate.
Whatever the circumstances are behind your career gap, be honest about it. A hiring manager can easily verify the information you provide, so don’t include phony dates to overcome a gap on your resume or volunteer opportunities that aren’t real. Simply be honest and focus on why a company should hire you.
Need more tips on how to re-enter the workforce after a career gap?
Turn to the experts at ResumeSpice. If you’re wondering how to address a gap in your career, we can help you get back on track with our career coaching services, as well as our professional resume writing, LinkedIn, and cover letter writing services. We can also give you insight and advice on nailing your job interviews through our interview prep services. With our help, you’ll be able to overcome your career gap and re-enter the workforce with confidence. Get started or learn more today by calling 832.930.7378.