You’re ready to find a new job, but you’re nervous about your resume gap. Whether you took time away from the workforce recently or several years ago, you know potential employers will notice, and you’re afraid it will work against you.
It’s time to stop stressing because this is much more common than you think. You know you’ll be asked about this during your interview, so use these tips to prepare an eloquent response in advance.
People step away from the workforce for a variety of reasons, both voluntarily and involuntarily. You probably won’t be too nervous about explaining your resume gap if you opted to quit your job — i.e., to care for young children or go back to school. However, you’re likely feeling hesitant if you were fired or otherwise forced to exit your last job.
The best employers value honesty. They understand that people make mistakes, but those mistakes don’t define them. Lying in a job interview is never a good idea, so you need to tell the truth. They’ll likely find out what happened anyway, so it’s much better to hear it from you.
Share What You Learned
Learning during an employment gap can take many different forms. For example, if you were fired, maybe you took the time to reflect on the incident and grew from it. Or if you stepped away to care for a family member, you might’ve taken a few classes online to keep your skills sharp.
It’s important to share what you learned during your time away from the workforce because it shows initiative. This tells a potential employer you truly care about your job, as you worked to better yourself during your employment gap.
Get to the Point and Move On
You have much more important things to discuss in your interview than your employment gap. Briefly summarize what happened and what you learned from it, then move on. There’s no need to explain every last detail because doing so will make it seem bigger than it is.
If the interviewer has additional questions, they’ll ask, but there’s no need to volunteer extra information.
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