Effectively addressing career gaps in your professional history requires a strategic approach to present them positively. Here’s a refined way to explain career gaps:
First and foremost, be honest and concise about the gap in your employment history. Transparency is key, HOWEVER you do not need to recount every little details regarding your gap. “A death in the family, resulted in me having to take a step away for several months” is enough to explain what was going on. Going into the “how” and “why” that all occurred is not necessary and can inadvertently raise red flags that will terminate your candidacy.
Next, emphasize how you utilized the gap productively. You might mention pursuing further education, acquiring new skills, or volunteering. This demonstrates your commitment to personal and professional growth. If, in the event the gap didn’t allow for those types of engagements, a death for example, you can discuss how you used the time to clear up the personal issues and focus on getting back into the right space to reenter the workforce. Now more than ever, personal wellbeing is appreciated. If your potential employer knows that you’ve taken the time and steps necessary to regain level ground on the matter- that is a big plus.
If your employment gap was the result of a layoff or unexpected event, focus on the skills and experiences gained during the gap that are relevant to the job you’re applying for. Show how these experiences have made you a more well-rounded and adaptable candidate.
Highlight any freelance work, part-time jobs, or consulting projects you took on during the gap to demonstrate your continued engagement in your field.
Lastly, express your enthusiasm and eagerness to return to the workforce and contribute your skills to the potential employer’s organization. A positive attitude can go a long way in reassuring employers about your commitment.
By framing your career gaps in this manner, you can present them as valuable experiences that have contributed to your overall skill set and professional development.