Explaining Employment Gaps

Employment gaps occur when you have more than a month or two in between jobs. Some people like to make a big deal out of them, but in reality, they are often just an indication that life happens.  

The trick is to know how to explain them, so they don’t work against you.  

How do you deal with an employment gap? Our hiring experts explain below.  

What Hiring Managers Think When They See Employment Gaps  

To understand how to explain your employment gaps, you need to understand what hiring managers think when they see them.  

While gaps in your resume don’t say anything in particular, they leave room for inferences, which is almost worse. A hiring manager could assume anything from you interviewing poorly to even a stint in prison.  

A quick background and employment check should quickly rule out the worst (like prison), but it still leaves room for them to assume that you couldn’t work, didn’t want to work, or no one wanted you.  

So, what do you do to explain those gaps?  

Update Your Resume – But Don’t Try to Hide  

If you have months or even years missing from your history, include it in your resume.  

Then, explain what was happening in your life at that time. If you went back to school, say so. If you took time off to spend time with your family after a birth, note it. Were you working an unrelated job or volunteering? Include that. Did you need some time off to recover your health (mental or physical)? It’s not a big deal.  

Say what you were up to, but don’t overshare. An honest explanation doesn’t need to include that the impetus of your employment gap was a death in the family or a soul-destroying breakup. Plus, if you did take time off for one of those reasons, you don’t want to have to relive the story during your interview.  

Remember, there’s a difference between an explanation and an excuse. You are entitled to taking time away from your career in any field, particularly if you already have plenty of experience.  

You Can Move on from an Employment Gap  

Employers make a big deal about employment gaps only because of the ambiguity they present. Very often, however, a gap in your employment history is a sign that you have a life.  

Instead of trying to hide or minimize it, briefly explain the gap, and then move on. You don’t have to justify your time off, and if you have the experience required for the job, then it shouldn’t be a big deal.  

Are you looking to re-enter the job market after taking some time off?   

Get in touch to learn more about Energi Personnel’s current job postings; we are hiring all levels of experience right now in Odessa TX and surrounding area.