How to Explain Employment Gaps During the Interview

If you’re looking for a new job, your employment history is easily one of the top factors of consideration for most employers. Remember, employers strive to hire workers who will be invested in their organization for the long haul. The last thing you want is to give them a reason to think you won’t be a consistent or reliable employee. If your resume is filled with employment gaps, there are fortunately some things you can do about it.

Provide Context to Your Interviewers

First and foremost, it’s best to never assume employers will brush off or ignore employment gaps on your resume. Before going on interviews, it’s a good idea to take an inventory of any employment gaps and personal circumstances that may have caused them. For example, did you take time off from work to attend school? Did you have a sick parent who you had to care for? Whatever the reasons, be prepared to briefly provide context so the interviewer has a better understanding of your employment gap.

Be Upfront Throughout the Process

You may be wondering what approach to take if your employment gaps were due to negative circumstances. If you were fired or laid off, always try to find the positive aspects of the situation. For example, you may explain your temporary unemployment gave you an opportunity to explore freelancing or learn a new skill. Showing you used your time off in a valuable way will demonstrate that you’re committed to your professional growth and have learned from any career mishaps.

Honesty Is the Best Policy

Lying about your career history or faking dates on your resume can have disastrous effects on your job search. Employers can easily verify your employment record and are looking for honest candidates with integrity. Lying in any form to get a job will surely backfire and potentially damage your professional reputation as you seek other job opportunities.

The good news is that employment gaps will not have the power to negatively affect your job search success…unless you let them. The better prepared you are to address employment gaps, the more effective you’ll be in selling yourself as a candidate during interviews. Contact On Time Staffing for more great interview tips to help you on your search for new employment.