Tips for Explaining a Resume Gap

Maternity leave, career change, illness. 


Almost everyone has a gap or two in their work history but no matter what the reason, gaps in your resume can be seen as a red flag.  It’s your job to demonstrate to potential employers that any instability in your work history is behind you and that you are ready to work.


Take some time to reframe resume gaps so that you can present them in the best possible light and stay in the running for a job you really deserve:


Be Brief and Professional

Don’t get bogged down in a lot of detail. Interviewers don’t need the minutia of your employment history. Cut to the chase, concisely state the cause of your absence from the workforce, and move on:


“I spent a year taking care of my elderly aunt but now I’m excited about getting back to work. Can you tell me more about the company’s plans to expand the widget division?”


“I was part of a large reduction in workforce. I’ve spent my time reading about developments in the industry while searching for just the right opportunity. This job sounds like just what I was looking for.”


Be Strategic and Thoughtful

Career gaps and transitions may not have been of your choosing but you can still show that you took control and did something useful with your time. Talk about volunteer work, any classes you took or business books you read. Even household remodeling is fair game.


Anything that demonstrates that you have a strong work ethic, are comfortable with change and dedicated to personal growth can serve to impress potential employer.


Job Gap Faux Pas

Don’t Claim Sabbatical – If it wasn’t one. Getting fired from the lumberyard is not a sabbatical. Neither is watching QVC.


Don’t Fudge Dates – Employers will find you out. Having a job offer rescinded because your employment check doesn’t match your resume is gut-wrenching.


Don’t Overshare – The interviewer doesn’t need to know the details of health issues or personal circumstances that led to your resume gap. Stick to the facts, so that an interviewer doesn’t think that you’re trying to play the “sympathy card.”


And One Big DO

Consider working with a staffing agency to ease your way back to the workforce.  You can gain experience, refresh your skills and transition into a permanent job. You may enjoy temping so much you decide to stick with it. It’s a great way to manage times in your life when uncertainty may prevent you from returning to full time work.


Need summers off to care for school-aged children? Have a family member who requires your care? Thinking about going back to school? Temporary employment may be for you. Contact the PrideStaff office in your area to find out more about great local job opportunities.