7 Ways to Address Resume Gaps

It can feel daunting returning to work after a break. You may be concerned that a hiring manager will view your interruption in work history as a red flag. However, employment gaps are relatively common and simply need to be explained clearly.

You may be wondering why employers even care. Is this something you need to disclose to them? Will they think less of you?

An employer’s primary concern is the time, energy, and cost associated with training new employees. Resume gaps may indicate a tendency to leave jobs quickly or a disgruntled attitude, and this may be concerning to the employer. But there are many ways you can preemptively address those worries, and provide the hiring manager with the peace-of-mind they’re looking for. Today on the blog, we’re offering some helpful tips when discussing a resume gap during your next interview.

Be honest

First of all, honesty is always the best policy with a gap in your resume. Hiring managers look at resumes all the time and can quickly spot any suspicious timelines and dates. So don’t change the years or add in a job: maintain your resume’s accuracy.

Be prepared

You know the interviewer will bring up the gap, so prepare your answer like you would prepare for any other question. While the cover letter is an ideal place to detail the employment gap, remember that the manager may not read the letter at all. They will ask the question when you get to the interview stage, so be prepared with a succinct, truthful, and confident answer.

Did you use the time for career development?

While the entire gap may not be worthy of your resume, you should list any career development or volunteer experience you gained during your time away. Then, you’ll be able to account for some of the time, show you’re productive, and explain the causes you’re passionate about.

Volunteering for an organization often gives career experience that you can apply to your new position, so don’t be afraid to include responsibilities outside of the workplace. Any courses or continuing education can be detailed in the education section of your resume as well.

Disclosing caregiver responsibilities

Taking time off to stay home with children, aging parents, or sick family members is extremely common and easily explained. The answer can be short and direct. Technically, you are not required to disclose that you have children, but if you feel comfortable sharing, most people are very understanding of those responsibilities.

Keep the rest of your resume strong

In any job search, a strong resume will help you stand out from the rest of the candidates, and this is especially true when you’re accounting for an employment gap. With strong previous experience and education, a hiring manager will be happy to see your resume on their desk. Demonstrate that you’re up-to-date on the industry despite your time away and your potential employer will be so blown away by your experience that they’ll barely notice your time away.

Use agency connections

If you’re ready to get back to work after a significant employment gap, working with an agency ensures your resume ends up on the hiring manager’s desk. The agency handles the initial vetting process, so when the hiring manager sees your application, they can trust you’re qualified for the position. When you’re sending in your own resume, you might be passed over for someone with more current experience, but an agency will ensure your resume is on the top of the stack. Connect with us today to get started.