Explaining Gaps In Your Work History

Stepping away from your career doesn’t have to kill your professional momentum. However, it does complicate your job search, especially when you first return to the workforce. The key to overcoming this challenge is knowing how to communicate with potential employers about the gaps in your work history.

Statistics suggest you’ll likely take a break from the labor force at some point in your career. One data set showed that roughly six out of every 10 workers (59%) created resume gaps at some point during their professional development.

Still, despite how commonplace the situation is, the road back to the working can be bumpy. As such, a top recruiter, like SmartTalent, can provide an excellent bridge. Partner with SmartTalent to smooth your transition and discover the right opportunities for you.

Along with finding the right employer for your return to the workforce, you’ll need to think about a communication strategy. How will you discuss the gaps in your work history? Here are some things to keep in mind:

Don’t Evade the Topic

You won’t be able to talk around the gaps in your resume. Employers will notice the holes in your work history and are likely to ask about it directly. It’s not necessarily a deal breaker, but the company will want to understand the situation.

As a result, you shouldn’t try to sidestep questions about these gaps. Rather, confront the topic directly. Give a straightforward explanation for your absence from the workforce and answer any follow-up questions they might have.

Highlight Skills You Learned During Your Absence

Stepping away from the workforce doesn’t mean you stopped accumulating experience. These periods outside the professional world can sometimes offer some of the most engaging times of growth. From raising children to going back to school to caring for a sick relative, you may have faced significant challenges, developed crucial skills, and enhanced your character.

Highlight these developments when the topic of your resume gap comes up. Let them know that while you didn’t receive a paycheck during the period, you didn’t stop upgrading your abilities. Often, you can frame these experiences as improving your soft skills, and competencies like:

  • Organization
  • Communication
  • Empathy
  • Problem Solving
  • Self-Motivation
  • Adaptability
  • Time Management
  • Innovation

SmartTalent can help you find an employer that will value these new additions to your skill set. Partner with SmartTalent to jumpstart the latest phase of your career, letting you apply what you’ve learned during your hiatus from the working world.

Keep Your Explanation Short

Resume gaps often happen for complex reasons. They might even involve exciting or traumatic events. In other words, these parts of your life might represent a great story.

However, you don’t want to dwell on them. Whether you took time off to climb Mount Everest or suffered through the death of a loved one, now’s not the time to dive into the details. Provide as much information as necessary but look to move on as quickly as possible.

Pivot Back to Your Professional Life

Don’t let your resume gaps dominate the conversation. You only have a short period of time to highlight why an employer should pick you for their open position. Make sure you’re using that opportunity effectively.

As such, you need to steer the conversation back to the qualities you can bring to the role. A job interview gives you a chance to showcase your best professional attributes. Make that the focus of the discussion as much as possible.

As you transition back to the working world, SmartTalent provides the support and guidance you need. You’ll find positions quickly, closing those resume gaps and setting yourself up for renewed career acceleration.

Contact SmartTalent today to begin.

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