Keeping your fingers crossed in the hope that employers will not notice the gaps in your resume is not the right strategy. If employment gaps aren’t explained on your resume then you will lead employers to assume the worst & discard your resume.
Instead, explain gaps in a way that allows you to focus on the positive things that you’ve learned during the gap and how it has perhaps enhanced your personality or professional profile.
A cover letter can also be attached to your resume and if communicated correctly it will enhance your application.
🔗 Sickness Gaps
Write only about recent illness, however you should also assure employers in your resume that you are well recovered, job-ready, and looking forward to work-related challenges.
🔗 Termination Gaps
If you have been redundant explain what you did in the interim to upgrade your skills i.e. higher education, certifications, training, volunteering etc. If your services were terminated, then stick to the truth without showing the company or yourself in a bad light. Explaining a gap may not harm your employability chances but lying or extending the employment dates to avoid gaps could.
🔗 Personal Reason Gaps
Everyone, at some point, needs to take time off to care for parents, children, recover from accidents or simply because there is going to be an addition to the family. If you have applied for the job, then you know that it means that these reasons no longer exist, however, employers, regrettably, may assume differently. Employers aren’t allowed to ask questions about your family, children or marital status, but it could work in your favour to take pre-emptive action and detail on your resume that you have made adequate arrangements so they know that you are fully committed to rejoining the workforce.
🔗 Travelling Gaps
These can be explained easily by detailing specifically where you travelled to and the objectives behind your travels. You could emphasise how the newly gained perspectives could be beneficial to the role that you are applying to now. Furthermore, emphasise why it was important for you and the lessons learned from overcoming various challenges.
🔗 Long-Term No Work Gap
This is the toughest of the lot. Most employers will think the worst if your unemployment gap is more than a year. However, if during that time you did something to qualify you better, like being a full-time student, doing volunteer or freelance work, or you built a website or blog, did consultation work or were a full-time parent or needed time to manage/refurbish the home, then you can explain the gap with positive reasons.
Be prepared to explain rather than hide the gaps. Have references readily available from your previous manager and colleagues. Take time to upgrade your knowledge about companies or your area of work so that the interviewer understands you have kept up with your profession despite the gap.
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