What is a resume gap?

A resume gap is the period which a person was out of employment. When one is out of employment, they could be doing other activities that can’t be necessarily be added on their resume like freelancing or furthering their education. In this article, we will look at why resume gaps are bad and how to present yourself if you have an employment gap.

How can you explain a Resume Gap?

For you to be able to earn the trust of your potential employer, it’s important for you to mention it to them. Ensure that you do not hide anything during your interview because one day, your prospective employer may find out you lied. Many employers label resume gaps as a red flag, but some do not pay attention to it.

The following tips will help you earn the trust of your future employer during your interview:

Be Honest

Never lie about your resume gap. This is the worst thing to do because it destroys trust. You wouldn’t want to be dismissed on your new job because of the lies you gave when seeking the job. Please don’t alter the dates of your resume because it’s easy for your employers to know you faked it.

Being honest makes your potential employer have faith and confidence in you. Many employers seek loyalty and confidence in employees.

Be Positive

Do not look at your resume gap as a failure, even if you were dismissed from your previous employment. Look at it in a positive way to enhance yourself. When going to an interview, write down the good things you learnt and achieved during the gap. Share these experiences with the prospective employer. This increases your chances of getting employed because the employer will see the potential you’ve got.

Prepare Yourself

Do not think that your interviewers will overlook the resume gap on your CV. The interviewers would like to know what’s been going on in your life in the period that you weren’t working. Ensure that you have a good reason for that gap in your resume.

However, it shouldn’t stop there, and you have to reassure the employer that you’re not willing to create another gap. If you have values that you picked during the gap, don’t be afraid to share them with your prospective employer. You must try to keep your explanation short and clear.

Why resume gaps are bad?

A resume gap is bad when it takes more than a year, and if you do not have a good reason for that gap. 

Even though you might have voluntarily left your previous job, most employers assume that you were dismissed. They believe that for a company to let you go, you weren’t good enough. A person can have a gap due to:-

  • Illness- You might have been sick, and you had no option than to leave for sometime.
  • Education- You decided to take a break so that you can further your education.
  • Sometimes a company can decide to reduce its workforce, and you might be among those who were dismissed.

It is possible to get a job with a gap in employment. What most employers truly want is the past experiences. A resume gap is considered bad when it lasts years. If your resume is less than a year, your reason for the gap can be ‘job-seeking’. You can’t say that you were job hunting for more than a year, and you did nothing on the side to improve yourself. The recruiters usually ask these questions the moment they see a gap on your resume:

What happened at your previous job?

The interview will definitely as you what happened to your last job. They would want to dig deeper to see if there is anything they should worry about. Don’t give them that reason to suspect that something isn’t right with you. When they ask about what happened, explain it and stay focused on the interview.

Do you have a sound professional judgement?

If you resigned due to your personal reasons, then there must be something you have been doing during the gap. Briefly explain to your prospective employer what you were doing and how it enhanced your skills, knowledge or even experience.

How was your relationship with your colleagues at your former job?

If your former employer had reduced their workforce, obviously some employees were left. You being part of the dismissed employees might suggest that you didn’t have a good relationship with your colleagues to advocate for you.

Are you committed?

For you to walk out on your job, the high chances are that you were not committed to that job. The same habit can be carried on to the next job. This can worry about the employer if they feel you lack commitment. To avoid this, don’t leave a job to seek for another one because you will be taking the risk of unemployment. It’s advisable to seek another job while still employed to avoid gaps.

Why aren’t you hired yet?

For you to be shortlisted for an interview, it means that there are great things on your resume that outweighs your gap. However, this is not enough reason for the recruiter to assume the gap. Reassure the recruiter that they did a good thing by giving you the chance to be interviewed. Please do not make them regret it. Have appropriate explanations that will make the employer feel that they made a wise decision by calling for the interview. When you keep on giving flimsy excuses for your gap, the employer will think, “Oh, no wonder no one could hire you.”

Will I regret hiring you?

Employing someone is a critical decision because the employee ill either add value to the company or bring losses. If an employer makes a mistake of hiring the wrong candidate, then he will regret it. As we stated earlier, resume gaps are usually viewed as a warning sign. Your confidence and energy during the interview process will determine the outcome of the interview.

Conclusion

An employment gap is a resume killer because it raises so many questions about your personality, social interaction and also professionalism. It’s very easy for an employer to skip a resume with an employment gap. If you have a resume gap, it is important to contact employers directly so that you can explain it to them personally. This might work because reading it by themselves might raise many doubts. Let them hear the story firsthand from you so that they see the potential you’ve got.

We have explained to you why resume gaps are bad and the impression they create about you to the employer. If you have a gap in your resume, it shouldn’t discourage you. Try to use the advice we have given above to secure employment.