An employment gap is a period when you have not been employed. This gap could be caused by a variety of factors, the most common of which being children, involuntary unemployment/layoffs, or pursuing a new career path through college or university courses.
When it comes to hiring candidates with work gaps on their resumes, employers are skeptical. Consider this: your CV is being placed against the resumes of more qualified individuals who have been improving and upskilling. Why would someone want to recruit someone who has a history of job gaps when there are better possibilities available? This is why describing your work gap to your employer is critical, without oversharing or exaggerating the situation.
What is the Employment Gap?
The employment gap, as the term implies, refers to a specific period when a person is on professional leave and not available to work. The interval varies from person to person, hence there is no set time limit for the break. Some employers do not consider a job absence of more than nine months.
Taking a vacation from professional life is a personal decision, but some candidates struggle to articulate why. Occasionally, job seekers do not receive a well-established position in their profile. As a result, to up-skill their knowledge for the current job market, some unemployed individuals learn new skills during this time and then begin the job-search process. An interviewer must understand why the applicant took a break in their working life. It allows people to learn more about what their candidate does for a living and make better-educated selections.
Always keep in mind that taking a gap year in your professional career is crucial. The fundamental reason for inquiring about your gap year is to determine how confident, passionate, and prepared you are to re-enter employment.
When applicants apply after a period of unemployment and are called in for an interview, they are concerned about whether the interviewer will grasp their reasoning. Do not be alarmed! Here are some tips to follow to be sure in your response to this question.
How to deal
When it comes to constructing a CV, a few weeks of unemployment is no big problem. However, if you have been out of work for months or even years, it may be difficult to get work.
Also Read – ” How to Write an Effective Resume “
You are certain that you have the necessary abilities, qualifications, and experience to succeed in the role. You also know that if you make it to the job interview stage, you’ll completely outperform your rivals. However, if you do not explain the employment gap on your resume, you will most likely not be able to meet with the recruiting manager in person.
Here’s how to handle a job gap on your resume.
Lots of work experience can help
If the work gap occurred many years ago, you may not need to be concerned. When mentioning occupations from many years ago, it may be possible to simply specify the year and leave out the month.
Most employers aren’t interested in reading about a job you had many years ago, and they prefer a minimum description. As a result, if you merely indicate the year of work, a gap will not appear on your CV. However, don’t try to fool the employer by doing this with recent positions. They would constantly want to see month-to-month timeframes that were correct.
Use your cover letter to explain
It may be difficult to explain a noticeable gap in your employment history on your CV. A cover letter, on the other hand, would be a terrific place to start. It will provide you the freedom to express yourself and clarify what transpired.
If you do not want to create a cover letter, you might include a quick phrase or two in your statement. Although this is not always the greatest location to address an employment gap, it is far preferable to no explanation at all.
We would strongly advise composing a cover letter, not just to explain a job gap, but also to identify yourself and your CV. Not everyone chooses to write a cover letter, but if done properly, you can acquire a job.
Be completely transparent and honest
In every part of your CV, honesty is always the best policy. If you explain a job gap, the company will appreciate your candor. It will also keep them from being suspicious if they try to figure it out on their own. You may be caught out if you chose to lie about the gap. Even if they don’t detect anything improper based on your CV, they may catch you out during the interview if you’re questioned further. Above all, don’t be embarrassed about your employment gap; instead, confront it full-on. They’ll appreciate it, and you’d be shocked at how readily dismissed it is.
Also Read – ” What are the most common mistakes made on a Resume? “
If you demonstrate a high level of integrity and honesty to the company, you may discover that you are treated more favorably than other candidates.
There are ways to avoid a gap in the future, and one of them is to stay busy. When faced with an extended period of unemployment, there are numerous solutions to consider; the challenge, however, is not knowing how long you will be out of work.
- If you are out of work but have no health issues and are simply looking for a new job, you may not need to be concerned. However, as the weeks pass and the gap widens, you may wish to consider a preventive measure.
- Look for part-time work or volunteer opportunities. Volunteering is also a terrific way to stay active and will look great on your resume. Giving up your leisure time to get paid zero will benefit you. Employers will interpret this as a selfless deed and will conclude you are a dedicated worker who is prepared to go above and beyond for them.
- Volunteering will also help you continue to hone your soft skills, such as communication, customer contact, problem-solving, and so on. This would be beneficial for recent graduates with little or no work experience.
- You may also think about taking a class, either online or at a local institution. If you know you’ll be out of work for an extended period, enrolling in a course will help keep your mind engaged. It will look fantastic on your CV and add to your list of qualifications.
Choose something related to your profession to help you stay focused. As a side note, you should continue to read current events to maintain your finger on the pulse. Keep in contact with your chosen profession and stay connected.
Don’t be worried if you become ill.
You don’t have to go into depth if you don’t want to, and simply stating that you were away for health reasons is sufficient. Put a positive spin on your circumstance by stating that you are now ready and eager to return to work. Being unable to work due to personal health issues or having to care for a relative is a normal part of life. Any reasonable hiring manager would understand and has most likely encountered something similar in their own life.
Finally, if you have anything that recruiters or hiring managers would consider a red flag, the most important thing you can do to help yourself is to get a warm introduction to the organization or with the recruiter. If they have someone they trust tell them, “You should look at Chrissy!” Chrissy is an excellent employee! Chrissy would be ideal for this position at your organization!” They aren’t going to be concerned about any employment gap you may have because that person’s recommendation speaks louder than any prospective gaps that may create concern.