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How to Explain Gaps in Your Resume?

December 23, 2015

Reasons for gaps in your resume could range from being laid off, fired, closure of business, raising children, family issues and lot more. However, when you find yourself prepared to get started on the next career phase of life, after a long gap, justifying the gaps in your resume with genuine purpose and intent makes all the difference.

Whatever be the reason for gaps in your resume, speaking about it with complete honesty to the interviewer can possibly win you, your next job role. Here are some tips for all those who wish to get started once again in their careers after a long gap:

  • Demonstrate integrity, honesty and commitment towards the position and job role you applied for. Do not lie about qualifications and experiences in your CV, for if caught this can hamper your chances of finding the next suitable job role soon. Like for example, when I took a career break to raise kids and then after some years applied for the position, I was asked reasons for the gap. I explained to the interviewer with complete honesty that I took time off to raise kids and was doing some freelance work to stay in touch with the subject. What followed next surprised me. The interviewer was impressed with my honesty and saw my keen dedication to take up the full-time job role, I won the offer.
  • Stay abreast of the industry knowledge and trends. Legit reasons for gaps in your resume should not make your candidature look out-of-date. One of the best ways to prove to your prospective employers that your knowledge is still relevant to the market is by staying attuned with the happenings on the subject, making most of the social media platforms to create a sense of awareness, take advantage of webinars, online workshops and seminars to stay connected with industry experts, video channels and reports.

See: Biggest Resume Blunders Job Seekers Should Avoid

  • After a long gap, your resume should be made as to emphasise on the skills and not on the dates/duration. Even with gaps in resume, job seekers should be able to steer the conversation, in different ways, especially if you are changing careers or industries. Rather than discussing about previous experiences in a chronological order, it is advisable to discuss skills possessed and learned during your time away from job and how these newly learnt skills can be translated into the new job role you’re aiming at.
  • Have a detailed cover letter that explains your keen interest and passion for the job role. The cover letter should also clearly state on your career aspirations in the near future that you plan to achieve if offered the most coveted job role within the company. Again, be honest, and stay-up-to-date with the industry trends.
  • Confidence is one key determinant that will set your candidature apart from the norm. Your CV should exude confidence on your skills and ability to get the job done in timely manner. Especially if you were fired or let go of a company, then questions such as these when posed by an interviewer should not make you feel low and panic.
  • Resume gaps are not as uncommon as you might possibly think; answer the questions confidently with calm and composed body language. Do not fumble or panic, just be honest and candid. If the future employer believes in you, then you will be offered a job role, else any which ways you would never want to work for a company that doesn’t believe in your talent, potential and skill sets. Good luck!

Also read: 4 Key Tips for Job Seekers with Less Than Perfect Resumes to Navigate the Job Search Process

Image credit: staffingagencyatlanta.com

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