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Best Ways to Explain Gaps in Your Resume

May 15th, 2019

If you’ve been away from work for an extended period of time, jumping back into the job market can feel daunting. You may not know how to explain gaps in your resume, or if you should even apply for jobs when it’s clear that you haven’t worked in some time.

Here’s how to handle resume gaps effectively.

  1. Don’t Cover Up the Gaps

Hiring managers notice most attempts to cover gaps in hiring, such as using only the years you worked instead of the month and year.

Covering up gaps rarely helps a job-seeker. A gap of a few months is so common as to be unremarkable, while gaps of a year or more are nearly impossible to hide without raising suspicion.

Instead, be as accurate as possible about the year and month you started and left each past job.

  1. Be Honest, But Brief

If you’ve been out of work in order to raise children, take care of an ailing family member, launch a business venture, or to return to school, it’s generally safe to speak of these in simple, straightforward terms. Hiring managers understand that life happens outside the workplace and that sometimes you need to step up to the plate even if no one is paying you a salary or wage to do so.

While it helps to be honest, however, you don’t need to provide all the personal details related to your decision to be out of work. Simplicity is both appropriate and professional.

  1. Focus On What You Provided and Learned

You may not have been paid by an employer for everything you did while you were away from work, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t provide valuable services to others – or that you didn’t learn anything from the experience.

Instead of dwelling on why you were away from the workforce, focus on what you accomplished and learned. For instance, if you took time off to raise children, you might talk about what you learned about child development, project planning, or day to day management of a busy household. If you spent time volunteering, talk about the skills and insights you gained from that experience.

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At THE RIGHT STUFF, LLC, our recruiters focus on helping job-seekers connect with some of the best employers and opportunities in Minnesota. To learn more, contact us today.

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