5 Do’s of Explaining Gaps In Employment History

Gaps in employment history

Gaps in employment history are common today. Many people today have gaps in their employment history. This doesn’t mean that your career prospects are automatically lowered. It only means you would have to work twice as hard at justifying your employment gap. You should be prepared to address the issue during your interview, as it will almost certainly be one of the first topics your interviewer will ask. 

It is common practice for interviewers to be curious about when, why, and how you left your former job, as well as any gaps on your resume that aren’t addressed by paid work.  

How to justify gaps in employment history

gaps in employment history

The ideal approach and response will differ for each person. Many things influence how you explain gaps in employment history. These include: 

  • how you spent your time off 
  • your level of achievement in the employment you left 
  • your track record following the gap or gap.  

When discussing gaps in employment history with your potential employer, keep in mind the following tips:

Gaps in employment history 

1. Spotlight your accomplishments 

You should offer as much evidence of your achievement in your previous job before your gaps in employment history  and after you resumed employment in any situation where you need to account for a gap. 

List your achievements by mentioning circumstances in which you intervened, actions you took, and the outcomes you achieved. Emphasize how your contribution helped your organization. 

Obtain references from superiors to back up the explanation you plan to offer during the interview. 

Related: 5 Career development programs for employees 

Gaps in employment history

2. Make your work ethic stand out 

If you took time off to do something pleasurable during your gaps in employment history like skiing, traveling around Africa, or perfecting your sports skills, it’s critical to convey that you worked hard both before and after your break. Fun is good, but you must emphasize that you are not all about fun and that you can work hard.  

You should, for example, show how hard you worked on important assignments before and during your gaps in employment history. Offer references from your previous supervisors that attest to lengthy hours worked, great energy, and appropriate investment in the profession. This is a fantastic method to back up your answer. 

Learn more: How To Explain Gaps In Employment 

Gaps in employment history

3. Describe what you did during your gaps in employment history 

If you can, emphasize anything positive you did during your gaps in employment history. Highlight elements that reflect well on your character or are relevant to the position you’re applying for. If you spent the gap volunteering, learning a new skill to increase your relevance in the workforce, working pro bono, or doing something else productive, make sure to mention it in your response.

Gaps in employment history 

4. Address reasons for layoff or job termination 

If you were laid off or dismissed from work, don’t shy away from explaining why. Share the reasons for the reduction in the workforce and any evidence that you were in good standing at the time if you were laid off from a job that resulted in a term of unemployment. 

If the gaps in your resume are due to termination, you must prove to your employer that the reasons for your termination are no longer a hindrance to your overall performance. 

If there were controversial reasons unrelated to your current target job, you could mention those. The goal is to come off as honest and full integrity. 

Gaps in employment history

5. Explain your motives  

You may not have a clear-cut story. Perhaps you experienced a family crisis and you had to take time off for personal reasons. 

If you dealt with a personal issue and found a solution, you might wish to tell the interviewer about it. Especially if the solution was creative, innovative, or selfless. 

You may, for example, say that you took time off to recover from an injury or care for an aging parent. The goal will be to frame the problem as something that happened in the past and is no longer a hindrance to productivity. Highlight the good that came out of your gaps in employment history.  

For example, if the role you are applying for is that of a customer care representative, you may say that caring for your aging parent taught you patience which is a valuable skill when interacting with customers. 


In conclusion  

Gaps in employment history are common. Don’t feel handicapped if you have one. Identify your reasons and finetune them in a way that they resonate with your potential employer. Brothers & Associates assists individuals with employment gaps. Call or email us to find out how we can help.