How to Address Resume Gaps in an Interview

At some point in your career, you may take time off. This may be by choice or by necessity. And, unfortunately, a hole in your resume can make it difficult for you to re-enter the workforce.

Here’s how to minimize an employment gap and maximize your chances of hearing “You’re Hired!”


You Took Time off for Professional Development

Whether you traveled, returned to school or ran your own business, this is one of the easier gaps to overcome. Your newly gained knowledge should make you a more valuable employee. Be sure to mention how excited you are to apply what you learned to this job.


You Took Time off for Personal Reasons

Personal reasons can include staying home with young children, caring for a sick relative or needing a break from job stress. This gap worries potential employers because you might have to go back out on leave. The best strategy is to briefly explain the circumstances and emphasize how the event is in the past. For example, you survived a scary diagnosis, and now you have a clean bill of health. Also, point out anything you did during this time to stay connected to your career. This may include taking classes, freelancing, running a side business, volunteering or even mastering skills such as time management.


You Were Laid Off

Although being laid off is scary, it isn’t difficult to explain. Clarify what happened. Did the company close? Or, were layoffs based on seniority? Next, highlight your top achievements. And finally, if possible, stress that your previous boss would be happy to give you a positive recommendation. This removes any doubts your new employer might have.


You Were Fired

This one is tricky, but it doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker. Be honest. Admit you should have handled things differently. (This statement is true even if you were fired unfairly.) If you can get a recommendation from a previous supervisor, mention this. You’ll have to convince your future employer it was a minor setback and learned from your mistakes.


Additional Tips

  1. Rehearse Your Response
    This may be an awkward moment, so you don’t want to stumble over your words. Practice in front of the mirror so you look and sound confident.
  2. Keep It Short
    Provide only enough information to completely answer the question. There is no need to give excessive details. In fact, the more you talk, the more likely you’ll get yourself into trouble.
  3. Stay Positive
    Employment gaps often result from challenging situations. However, avoid complaining, criticizing or blaming others. Focus on what you gained not what you lost.


Are You Struggling to Overcome a Break in Your Work History?

At BOS Staffing, we don’t think an employment gap should prevent you from landing a job. If you are eager to get back to work, our professional recruiters can help you find a position in Gainesville, Georgia, and beyond. Learn more about partnering with us today!


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