When a candidate is applying for a job, a large unexplained gap in their work history can be a red flag. The ability to succinctly explain gaps in employment to potential employers can mean the difference between getting the job and getting passed over for a position.
By directing the conversation and turning a job gap into a positive experience, an interviewee can boost the chances of getting hired. The key is to make those months or years without work seem productive.
Enhanced Professional Skills
Put the focus on career trajectory by telling interviewers that time off was spent improving professional qualifications. Interviewees who attended school or did extensive reading on relevant industry topics during their unemployment can emphasize skills learned or developed during those activities. Turning the conversation from being unemployed to things learned gets a potential employer thinking about how qualified and ambitious the applicant is.
Gained Specific Experience
Volunteer work or spending time with family can be turned into an experience with management, budgeting or project planning. Applicants using this tactic can impress a potential employer by showing how they:
• Managed schedules for multiple individuals.
• Managed a set amount of money over a particular period.
• Dealt with specific crisis situations or unexpected emergencies.
• Gained valuable experience dealing with other cultures.
Trying Out A New Career
Interviewees moving into a different career can use gaps in employment to show why or how they are managing to transition between industries. Framing time off as time spent researching the new career gives the potential employer a sense of confidence about the interviewee’s commitment to the field.
During a career switch, it’s especially important to present any experience, knowledge or skills gained during the gap as relevant to the new job, not just an addition to the overall resume.
When it comes to explaining employment gaps, honesty is essential. Don’t make claims that can’t be supported, instead choose how to show off the skills and experience gained during the time off in a positive way.
Marquee Staffing recruiters specialize placing talent in some of the most desirable areas in Southern California, including Irvine, San Diego, Orange County, Oceanside, and Carlsbad. We also provide the benefit of our knowledge and experience to help you improve employee retention, productivity and much more. Contact us today to learn more about our technical staffing services and beyond.