Landing a dream job is a daunting task in itself, and when there are employment gaps on your resume, needless to say, it becomes even more challenging. Explaining employment gaps in a resume is probably one of the worst nightmares of job seekers.
However, it is also a universal fact that many employees do have gaps on their resumes. And this gap can be owing to several reasons – family problems, health issues, being laid off or may be a sabbatical.
Whatever be the reason, explaining employment gaps in a resume is a bummer for job seekers, and it must be taken note of. While of late perceptions have started changing and in many cases, employers do not always enquire about employment gaps, but job seekers should always be prepared to answer questions about gaps in their resume if any.
So, as a job seeker, how do you do that? What convincing reasons do you come up with while explaining the gaps in your resume? Described below are five tips. Have a look:
Tip#1. Emphasise why you left your previous organization
Instead of focusing too much on the employment gap, try and focus as to why you left your last company. The reasons can be varied—right from company issues to personal matter and sometimes, unusual cases like—you did not gel well with your manager, or the job role did not suit you. Whatever be the reason, make sure you can answer convincingly and confidently. Understand, the employer would rather be impressed by your confidence more than being put off by the real employment gap.
Tip#2. Be positive about leaving your job
Certain statements tend to create an impression within seconds – whether good or bad. So, be very careful while choosing to make statements about your previous company. Even if you left your last organization owing to some skirmishes with the management or anything, do avoid such incidents at any cost. Make sure, whatever you say about your previous organization is positive.
Tip#3. If it was a conscious decision, do say that
Sometimes, employees choose to leave a job voluntarily without taking up another job. While the concept of taking sabbaticals and gap years are common in the western world, it is yet to strike a positive chord among Indian employers and employees alike. However, things have started changing these days, and Indian organisations are opening up to ideas such as short breaks in employment and sabbaticals.
So, if your decision was a conscious one, do mention that, of course, backed by a solid acceptable reason. Maybe you took six months off to travel or may be due to a family situation. Illnesses can also be a reason. So, do cite real reasons as to why did you choose to quit your job without any backup plan. Understand that if there are right intention and purpose to your employment gap, it becomes much more acceptable for hiring managers that just a generic gap which makes it look like you were simply out of employment.
Tip#4. Did you undertake any activity during the gap? Focus on that.
As mentioned earlier, if there are a particular intention and purpose behind the employment gap, the manager will accept it readily. So, try and focus on the activities you indulged in, during the gap. You might have chosen to volunteer for an NGO at a remote village, or you wanted to pursue any professional course, that would further enhance your skills.
Understand these activities carry huge weight and can work in your favour.
Tip# 5. Be honest and upfront
Last but not the least, be honest and upfront. Trying to bluff and lie your way through isn’t the way to get or make things work for you. Understand that hiring managers are also experienced and can see through you. So, if you have an employment gap, be honest with it. Layoff and downsizing happen in companies across the globe. If such situation has led to a gap in your resume, its better, to be honest rather than beating around the bush. Your honesty will be appreciated more, and such a move can help you land up with your next job. So, do choose to remain truthful.
For many job seekers, being out of work for a while may seem like a deterrent, but if you remain positive, proactive and willing to take it in your stride and move on – all hindrances to your new job search will be resolved.