White Space on Your Resume? How to Explain Gaps in Employment Positively

Waiting for a Job Interview

Three out of five people in the U.S. have faced unemployment at some point in their careers. In most states, current unemployment filings amid the COVID-19 pandemic are roughly 7x higher than this point last year.

Whether it’s due to a layoff or raising a family, employment gaps are more common than you think. When it’s time to rejoin the workforce, you might worry that a gap in employment will keep you from getting hired. It can hurt you as a candidate if you don’t handle it correctly.Luckily, there’s a way to talk about it that won’t scare away employers. Read on to learn how to explain gaps in employment so you can get a new job. 

Be Honest, But Brief

It’s important to tell the truth about your job history. If you lie on your resume or in the interview, someone will eventually find out. That said, you don’t need to share every detail about your employment gap. If you have a gap of more than six months, it might seem smart to list jobs by months instead of years when you write your resume. But, this can actually be a red flag because it makes it seem like you’re hiding something.  For example if you’ve had trouble getting hired after a layoff, don’t say that. Instead say, ‘After my position was eliminated, I’ve been searching for a new way to use my skills. I haven’t found a job that’s the right fit.’

Explain Why the Reason for the Gap is No Longer an Issue 

The hiring manager is looking for reassurance that you’re not planning on another job gap. If you took time off due to an injury or to care for your family, explain your solution. If you were raising a family, explain that your kids are in school now so they don’t need full-time child care. If you were caring for a sick family member, explain that their health has improved and they’re now able to live independently and you’re ready to return to work. You can also use a discussion about gaps in your job history to talk about the hard or soft skills you learned. Did your time as a caretaker teach you how to be a better communicator? Did you get any certifications during your time off?

Explain Your Employment Gap with Confidence

Don’t feel like you have to justify or apologize for your time away from work. After all, caring for family, dealing with a long job search, or taking time off for your health or an injury are admirable. It’s important to own your choices and explain them with dignity. Plus, your confidence will likely win over your interviewer. They’ll see you as an honest person with confidence and integrity. 

How to Explain Gaps in Employment and Get a New Job Today

Gaps in employment are very common, so don’t think it will take you out of the running. The key is knowing how to explain gaps in employment that still makes companies want to hire you. Finding a job can be tough, but we can help. At On Demand Staffing, we work with business owners across the country that need temporary staffing for skilled and unskilled labor positions. Check out our job board for current, in-demand positions. 

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