A How-To Guide on Explaining Employment Gaps

Does your resume have gaps in employment? If it does, you aren’t alone. Unfortunately, employers tend to frown upon long gaps in unemployment. This can be disheartening, especially in the thick of a difficult job search, but there are ways to explain these gaps and still get the job you want. If you have had several breaks in employment, try keeping the following techniques in mind during your next interview.

Provide the Actual Reason Behind Your Break From Work

Many workers take time to off for health reasons, to travel or to tend to important family matters. Your interviewer will appreciate an honest answer instead of an elaborate fabrication. Employers will also feel better after they find out you were actually busy during your sabbatical.

Talk About What You Learned

Give detailed information about the activities you were involved in during your break. Be sure to provide information about the following.

  • Degrees or certifications you obtained, as well as any courses you completed.
  • Volunteer projects.
  • Personal knowledge acquired.
  • Contract or freelance projects.

If you engaged in any of the activities above, the interviewer will see you are an ambitious individual who is always open to learning new things.

Put a Positive Spin on Your Departure

When explaining the reason behind your previous job departure, avoid providing negative reasons, such as

  • “I didn’t get along with my last boss.”
  • “I didn’t like or trust my co-workers.”
  • “The work was way too difficult.”

Instead of making the statements above, perhaps respond with, “I didn’t share the values of the company” or “I found the work repetitive and needed a job that challenged my professional skills.” The interviewer may ask you to clarify, but at least you will have a positive-sounding answer ready. 

Contact Us

Here at United Personnel, we help workers like you find the right temporary position in their professional field. We understand being unemployed is difficult, but with our help, you can advance your career. Contact us today for additional information.