So you were out of work for a while and are now planning to re-enter the workforce. The idea of hunting for a job is stressful enoughand it will be even more so when you have to think about how to explain to potential employers why you were out of work for a certain period of time. Whether you got laid off from your previous employment or had to quit your job to attend to personal matters, the gap will leave a glaring mark in your resume and this is something you need to deal with.
Naturally, the companies you apply to would want to know why there is a gap in your resume. You need to be able to fully prepare yourself for this if you want to make it to the next step of the job hiring process. Dont worry, having a gap in your resume is not going to be a hindrance in you finding a job but it will work to your disadvantage if you do not know how to effectively address the matter.
Explain the Gap in Your Cover Letter
It is best if you give a short explanation about your employment gap in your cover letter. It does not have to be a narrative, but instead, keep it to one to three sentences just so they would have an idea why you were not working for a given period of time. If you had a hard time finding a job after being laid off from work, or if you were suffering from a serious illness, it would not be advisable to go into detail about it.
What to Include in the Resume
If you have an employment gap but you have kept yourself busy professionally then you should mention it in your resume. If you have been out of work but were able to do some freelancing, then you should make sure to mention this in the work experience section of your resume. This way, the hiring manager will be able to see how hardworking you are and how dedicated you are to your career. On the other hand, if your employment gap occurred a long time ago, then it is okay to leave it out of your resume.
How to Answer Interview Questions About Employment Gap
If you have an employment gap then expect that your interviewer will ask about it. Of course, they would want to know why. The best way to answer is being brief and direct, leave out unnecessary details and do not give out too much information. Also add a positive note telling the interviewer that you are already very eager to start working again.
Do not let an employment gap discourage you from finding the job that you want. Bad things can happen to anyone and even hiring officers know that. Just stay positive and do not let this matter stress you out during your job search.
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