There can be several reasons why you may decide to take a break from being part of the workforce. Whatever might be the cause of the gap but addressing them in a right way during your interview is very essential. Failing to do so can act as a hindrance in your job search. Here, are 5 simple tips on how to explain that gap in your resume.
Have an answer ready for, “Would you explain the gap?”
The interviewer would most likely want to know the reason for the gap in your resume and how did you utilize your break. Always mention your gap in the resume and try to explain it during the interview. Emphasize on the activities you undertook or knowledge and skills you gained during your gap and how it helped in your professional development. For example, if the reason for the gap was traveling and visiting new places, then, talk about how getting to know a new culture has helped you gain a new perspective about life and how positive you feel to start afresh. There might be several other reasons for taking a break maybe family issues, health or monotony but you must always know how to put it forward in order to add value. Always go prepared with a reason for your break else you have just given a reason to the interviewer to consider someone else.
Keep it positive while mentioning about your gap
Always remember managers like employees who are optimistic. So, keep it as positive as you can. Saying, “I couldn’t find a job that matched my capabilities” to “I took time off to pursue a career in a profile or industry where I can excel” sounds much better, doesn’t it? Also, if you did some sort of value addition in your break, don’t forget to mention it. You can say that you were fortunate enough to take time off to figure out your next move and apply for jobs you want to do. Also, talk about the steps that you have taken to improve your overall performance.
Honesty is always the best policy. Whatever was the reason for your break, never try to lie about it or cover up your gaps. Being honest and explaining your gap positively won’t destroy your possibilities of getting hired but lying will. Try to put your break in a manner that would add to your strengths and help you in getting that offer letter you have been waiting for. Never, hide your gaps in the resume. There can a possibility that the interviewer might call up your previous employers to verify your time duration. Honesty and confidence are two traits that an employer always looks in an employee.
Mention how the gap helped in the overall professional development
Do not forget to talk about any activities, skills, certifications or courses that you have done during this gap. Try to lay emphasis on the freelance work, blogging, consulting or any voluntary work you did in your break. These will not only leave a positive impression on the interviewer but would also show that you are proactive and eager to enhance your skills and growth.
Own your decisions
When discussing the gaps in your resume, you must be able to take the full onus and responsibility for all the decisions you have made and choices you have opted for. Show no regrets. Employers always like people who are mature and take the charge of their own decisions.
However, a few months of career break some years ago is probably fine but if you are out for a couple of years then planning needs to be done. The most important factors are honesty, confidence, passion, and readiness with which you want to re-enter the industry. If you possess these qualities and have the right explanation for your break you have nothing to fear about.