It happens. Layoffs, leaving toxic jobs, injury, and more could all be reasons you have a gap in your resume. Now it’s time to apply and interview for new jobs, and you aren’t quite sure how to address the gap or even gaps. Many employers may understand, but if not presented well, this gap may be the one thing standing in your way. Here are some Do and Do Nots of how to professionally explain your gaps during a job interview:
- DO use positive responses even if you were laid off or fired from your job. Stay polite when discussing the past company or boss.
- DON’T try and hide the fact that you lost your job. Potential employers may end up looking into your work history, plus being dishonest is never a good start.
- DO mention if your gap is because of a health-related reason, but feel free to leave it and move on to the next topic of conversation.
- DON’T feel like you need to share personal health information. If the employer is pushing for you to go into detail about your health, then they are unprofessional, and you do not need to comment.
- DO mention an employment gap due to education. Take pride in the fact that you chose to obtain more knowledge to better yourself.
- DON’T say you returned to school because you “didn’t know what else to do”. Make sure to let them know that you have purpose and drive.
- DO mention how important family is when talking about a gap due to a family illness or injury.
- DON’T feel guilty for making family a priority. Remember not to get overly defensive when discussing such a delicate matter.
- DO mention gaps for personal growth such as travel but remember to focus on what you got out of the experience and how it will impact your development in your career.
- DON’T just talk about how much fun you had and how great it was to not work; this will seem unprofessional and will not come off well with potential employers.
Tread lightly and professionally when it comes to matters of employment gaps. If you stick to the facts and keep replies straightforward, you will have a great interview.