How to Address Gaps in Your Resume

Many people have gaps in their work histories. It could be because of layoffs, a return to school, raising a family, or some other reason. These gaps raise some red flags to employers, and so you need to address them at your interview. What is the best way to go about it? Here are a few ideas.

1. Be open and up front about it

Many people try some sort of prevarication to explain the gaps, that they were working on some project, or freelancing, or consulting, for example. It can be embarrassing to talk about being laid off or simply without work for a period of time. The best approach, however, is to simply acknowledge the gap and explain why it happened. Don’t try and pretend it doesn’t exist.

Presumably, during this gap time you were keeping yourself occupied doing something. Maybe you did volunteer work, took classes or some other type of training, traveled, or, more obviously, looked for work. Talk about what you did and what you learned from it, and how the experience helped make you a better person and worker. What skills did you gain?

2. Practice your answer

Since it is especially important how you respond to this issue of employment gaps, you want to make sure your response is effective. You want it to be delivered well, smoothly and persuasively. To achieve this, you need to prepare, to practice your answer so that you are ready when the issue comes up. Put together a short, persuasive presentation about how you used your time and how it helped you.

You may want to do this with a friend, who can critique your performance. Or you can do it in front of a mirror to see how you look.

3. Show confidence

Talking about periods of unemployment during a job interview can be somewhat intimidating and awkward.

But these days, having gaps in your employment history is more common, especially given the recent upheavals in the economy. Employers understand these gaps can happen. It is not something to be embarrassed about. If you have prepared well, you should be able to discuss your employment gaps with confidence and professionalism.

All three of these tips will help your chances in landing the job. Hiring managers want honest employees who are upfront and not trying to hide anything. If a job candidate tries to evade the truth during the interview process, then it’s a sign they won’t be 100 percent truthful while being an employee of the company.

Looking for work in the Inland Empire? If you are, your first stop should be Arrow Staffing. Arrow has the experience and networking expertise to find the right job for you. Arrow Staffing is highly regarded in Southern California for its service and professionalism. Give Arrow Staffing a call today.


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