How to explain an employment gap without having to lie or feel uncomfortable about itAlways be honest about any possible career discontinuity
Employment gaps are part of every professional path, no matter how extensive they can be, and rest assured that a recruiter will ask you about this matter during an interview. Provide an honest explanation of your unemployment periods, especially if you had considerable ones due to health issues or a sabbatical year. Try turning what at first appears to be a drawback into an advantage and think of what is good to say and what you shouldn’t. For example, in case of health problems “the interviewer won’t expect (or want) you to go into painstaking detail about an attack of depression or a serious back operation. Prepare a straightforward explanation that you’re comfortable sharing. Mention how proud you are that you were able to overcome your health problems and then move the conversation swiftly into the present day by discussing the relevant skills you have to offer this company.”
Always provide an honest explanation
The worst approach is not providing any explanation at all or being superficial about it. It is important to manage this delicate part offering as much information as possible so that the recruiter can truly understand that you didn’t lose time – you just invested it in another manner, outside your usual working activities. Redefining the concept of an active worker and what it means for you being useful to society is very important during a job interview. This way you can prove that you have a deeper sense of community and social purpose.
Don’t reveal too much personal information
As mentioned above, being honest about the moments of working discontinuity will give coherence to your professional path but be careful and do not reveal too many personal and irrelevant details. A recruiter is usually interested in knowing only the essential milestones of your path.
If you dedicated yourself to a training period, highlight the value of your investment
When you take some time off and decide to invest in your education, this gives a high value to an emerging career gap, because it means you are a person that believes in professional growth. Explain why you choose to “go back to school” and tell about the skills you wanted to improve and for what purpose.
If you took some time off to stay with your family
Keep in mind that “no interviewer should make you feel like your decision to prioritize family over career reflects badly on you”. And if in the meantime you were also able to do volunteering or other interesting activities to keep yourself busy let the recruiter know that you are a committed and responsible individual.
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