I often discover a gap in a candidate’s employment history while reviewing their resume. What is surprising is that so many individuals do not know what to do about these employment gaps. Some individuals try to hide it, which is lying. Others try to stumble through an explanation which makes an employer suspicious.
There are many reasons for a gap in your employment history. These could be:
- Your employer went out of business leaving you looking for employment.
- Your employer terminated your employment due to a staff reduction.
- Your employer terminated you for cause.
- Or, you quit.
Any of these reasons could leave you with an employment gap while you were looking for a new career. Sometimes, the gap is longer because of an economic downturn or because your family did not want to relocate.
What ever the reason, you should show the employment gap on your resume and be ready to fully explain what you were doing during that time. If you do not have a prepared and honest explanation it will lead prospective employers to think that something else was going on in your life … maybe incarceration.
The last thing you want to do is cover up an employment gap. If your perspective or, worse yet, your new employer finds out about the cover up, you will most likely be not hired, or terminated. Now, it is too easy for employers to verify accurate dates of employment; and, employers do check.
Honesty is the best explanation. An example of a good explanation is ….” after I left company xyz, I started looking for opportunities in my city. Unfortunately, there are no other retailers there so I tried to transfer my skills to another industry. My son/daughter was in his/her senior year in high school so our family made a choice not to relocate. A year later, I found myself still looking. With my son graduating, our family has now agreed to relocate.”
There are many other reasons. Do your best to honestly explain the situation.