Rethinking How You Address Resume Gaps in an Interview

October 16th, 2015

Job interviews are always pretty nerve-wracking, but when you know you’re going to have to explain a resume gap, your anxiety can go off the charts. It’s easy to assume you’re at a disadvantage because you took some time away from the workforce, but this is only a detriment if you allow it to be one.

The hiring manager clearly thinks you’re qualified for the job, or you wouldn’t have been invited for an interview. Learn how to describe your employment gap with confidence, so it doesn’t keep you from the career success you deserve.

3 Tips to Successfully Address Your Resume Gap

Feeling nervous about discussing your resume gap in an upcoming interview? Say all the right things by following these three guidelines:

Be Honest

Employers value honesty. Trying to hide the gap in your employment will get you nowhere but shown to the door. If the hiring manager hasn’t already conducted a background check on you, they will — and you won’t be able to talk your way out of that one. Briefly explain why you took some time away from the workforce and move on. It’s that simple.

Have a Response Prepared

Going into the interview, you know you’re going to be asked about your resume gap, so have a well-rehearsed response prepared. The last thing you want is to be caught off-guard and left to give an awkward, bumbling response. A polished, eloquent explanation will surely convince any hiring manager worth your time that you’re a great worker with a lot to offer.

Turn it Into Something Positive

No one wants to hire a negative person who is poised to bring the whole team down. It’s easy to come off as pessimistic when explaining your employment gap, if it wasn’t voluntary. However, you’ll need to find a way to rise above your feelings of adversity and explain how the break helped you learn and grow. Share how refreshed you feel now or explain how you used your time to volunteer, opening your eyes to an entirely new experience you wouldn’t have enjoyed otherwise.

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