Explaining Gaps in Employment

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When you get to the interview, be prepared to discuss your resume. In addition to explaining why you left previous companies and chit chat about the position, if you have any gaps in employment be prepared to explain them. Many people are scared that an interviewer is going to discover that they were without a job for a period of time. It is not necessarily a bad thing, but you do have to be able to tell the interviewer why in the best possible light.

You should always be honest when explaining any absence from working, but you do have license to spin what you did do in the best possible light. For instance, if you were laid of your job and had a hard time finding a replacement but spent a lot of time with your children you could say, “I took an opportunity to spend a few months with my children in between jobs.” If you took any courses or classes that adds value to your skills as an employee be sure to mention that as well. You may find it beneficial to add a brief explanation on the resume itself or in a cover letter. Most times it is hard to get to an interview if there is a lengthy and unexplained employment gap.

If you are unsure what possible questions could be generated from your resume, have another person look at it. It is best to be prepared for certain questions and scenarios that will likely come up in an interview. You do not want to be caught unaware or floundering for an answer. Give yourself time to figure out the best explanation for times of unemployment so an interviewer sees it as reasonable or even beneficial to them in the case of additional education and classes.

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