One of the most common problems that candidates tend to face during job interviews is how to justify employment gaps on their resumes to the interviewer. How are you supposed to explain to them why you took a break between two jobs, without losing your chance of getting the job?
In this fast moving world, everyone needs a break from work, but in some cases this break tends to be longer than the normal period. These gaps are known as employment gaps in corporate language, and that person is not employed during this period. Whether you were simply relaxing or attending to a family issue or just had taken a break to work on your dream project, finding an appropriate way to explain this to the interviewer may be a tricky thing. And, honestly this is one of the first things that the interviewer tends to notice on your resume. And, more commonly, the interviewer will ask the candidate this question, and the candidate might not clearly communicate their reasons. Now, this may leave a very unhealthy stain on the interviewer’s impression upon you. This problem can be easily dealt with some strategies and appropriate preparation. Below we’re listed some tips on how to navigate this part of your interview.
1. Try not to bring too much attention to this issue in the first place. If you’ve taken just a few months off of work, you could simple mention the year, instead of the month specifically. So, instead of saying Company PQR from May, 2016 to January, 2017, and then started working for Company, ABC from June, 2017 onwards, you could simply put down your listing as follows:
2016-2017, Company PQR, Assistant Business Associate
2017-Present, Company ABC, Regional Business Manager
Now, this works for people who’ve had a gap for a few months only, and not for more than a year. Don’t try to explain your gap in the cover letter, it is better to do it over the phone or in person.
2. Do not try to lie your way out of this situation. These days, companies tend to have a dozen ways to find out your background details and work history.
3. It’s better to prepare for this question so that you are not taken by surprise during the interview. When you are explaining it to your interviewer, make sure you mention to them what experiences and skills you may have picked up during this time. Give it a positive spin, if you can!