An employment gap is a period in your work history when you didn’t work.
Almost everybody has employment gaps and there can be a million reasons for a gap.
Illness and recession are some of the common negative reasons for employment gaps. Travel and academic study are some of the positive reasons for a gap.
To an employer, however, almost any gap is undesirable. A gap looks suspicious and employers want complete honesty. It is better to eliminate or explain every gap honestly, than leave unexplained gaps.
Explaining Employment Gaps in a Resume – EXAMPLES
Phrase Everything in Your Favor:
It basically comes down to knowing how to phrase things positively.
Remember, employers are not interested in your professional history only. They also want to know what kind of person you are. Who you are away from work is related to who you are at work – Which means that you can write about personal matters as if they were related to your professional ability and career.
For example: you were away traveling. Do not write, “Was away from home,” instead write “traveled independently” and specify where and how.
Any kind of recreational activities of this sort, especially if done in groups, like backpacking, camping, mountaineering, etc. speak in your favor. They indicate an outgoing personality, a strong independent character.
If you really were ill or unemployed, rephrase it as positive activity. List anything you might have been doing at that time: full-time parent, academic study, professional development seminars, etc.
And you can always honestly say that you simply took a break for this or that month. But do say it.
Explaining gaps in employment history
How to Avoid or Eliminate Gaps in Employment History:
Another way is to actually prevent gaps by taking action for the duration of that period of unemployment.
Such activates you should consider keeping your resume gap-free are:
- Community service
- Volunteer work
- Professional Development courses
- Academic Studies
- Language studies
- Sports, travel, art
You could, for example, study a new language, especially if it is relevant to your working environment. Languages are often best learned by intensive immersion into the language, requiring a period of time away from work.