It happens to the best of us: Sometimes you may have some lag time between your previous job and the one you hope to get. This may seem like a terrible hole in your résumé, but it’s not the end of the world; employers recognize this will happen, especially in today’s job market. As long as you can spin it well, most employers will understand and still consider you as a potential employee. And sometimes, a gap can even come across as a positive, something that makes you an even better candidate.
A job loss.
To put it briefly, keep it positive. Rather than bad-mouthing an employer, either openly or subtly, matter-of-factly acknowledge that you got laid off due to a “last-in, first-out” policy/downsizing/etc. and point out what you did positively while in that position, referring to a supervisor or manager who can attest to your skills and efforts.
Going back to school.
This resume gap barely counts as one, especially if it will make you more of an asset at a future job. Even if you didn’t go to school for something within your field, doing so requires intelligence and focus, skills any employer values. Make sure to mention why you went back to school and then explain how your additional degree/certificate will help you in the position you’re interviewing for.
If you have an extended or chronic illness, it can sideline you enough that you have to stay home and take care of yourself. Again, keep it positive: Avoid telling a potential employer about your aches and pains (legitimate as they may be) and remember you only have to share as much as you feel comfortable revealing. Instead, simply state that you took time away from work to focus on getting better, so you could come back to work as soon as possible. Then move onto your skill set and how you’ll benefit the company.
Helping your family.
Taking time away from work to either care for a family member or focus on your own shows dedication and, frankly, an ability to multi-task and deal with stress. If you managed to keep up with your job skill set during that time, mention it. Again, stick to a brief explanation of the gap and then point out that you’re ready and eager to get back into job mode. Keep in mind as well that any employer who sees you taking time out for family as a negative reflection on you may not be one you want to work with. Most will see it as an example of your personal strength and commitment.
Truthfully and effectively explaining gaps in your resume to a potential employer will only benefit you. For any more advice on how best to do this, work with the experts at PrideStaff.