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Explain a Career Gap in Your CV

Moustafa Ahmed July 15, 2023 3 min
career gap and how to deal with them with the help of whitecollars

How to Explain a Career Gap in Your CV

Most interviews include common questions recruiters tend to ask to gain more insights into your skills and your experience. One of the anticipated questions that you might face is explaining any gap in your resume. Let us first define what is considered a gap in a CV and then find out the best ways to discuss this gap.

It is always crucial to research and prepare for interviews by arranging the perfect answers that showcase your skills. You can rehearse different answers and asses which ones are suitable and will convey the meaning you want. Accordingly, you need to research each expected question in the interview and get the best answer depending on your resume.

What is a career gap?

Resume gap in a period where you stay unemployed. It can vary from a couple of months to a couple of years and might be voluntary or due to certain circumstances. Discussing the employment gap should not be stressful during the interview as it is completely ordinary and you can highlight various reasons for this gap according to your resume.

How to Openly Talk About Employment Gaps?

career gap and how to deal with them with the help of whitecollars for a recruiter

If you are heading into your next interview, you would better get ready with convincing answers regarding any gaps in your CV. Here are some interview tips to discuss your employment gaps with confidence:

  • Honestly Discuss The Gap Reason

The reason recruiters ask about job gaps is to better understand your skills. They want to make sure you are fit for the position and will be successful in your new work. They will accept the reasons you stayed for a while unemployed as long as you are honest about it and not trying to vaguely give reasons.

  • Be Brief and Concise

You need to be honest and concise about it at the same time. Talking too much about the gaps may lead to being apologetic or regretting these gaps and that may deliver a negative reaction.

You would better focus on returning the conversation back to discussing your skills and experience rather than pause for a long time at gap periods. You can turn gaps into a learning phase and how it has added up to your skills.

  • Turn Your Gap Time Into Useful Break

If you have managed to fill your gap time with courses where you have learned new skills, you can shift the view of this gap into a learning phase. Following, you can then grab the recruiter’s attention to your new skills and exposure during this unemployment duration.

There could be many reasons for a gap time in your resume. While it all depends on your circumstances, here are some examples of resume gaps to point out during your interview.

What are the Top 5 Reasons For a Resume Gap?

1- Resume Gap Due to Illness

You don’t have to explain the illness itself. You can focus on how you spent this time improving and how you managed to add to your skills and knowledge through learning and courses. This will reflect your positive mentality towards continuous development. Moreover, You can emphasize that you are ready to return to work at the current time.

2- Break to Care for a Family Member

Whether you have a baby or an ill family member, it is not about getting into details of the circumstances. Instead, focus the attention on how it is different now and that you are capable of providing the needed time for your job.

3- Gap because of losing the Previous job

If you were laid off from your job, you can provide an explanation as to why the position was no longer needed or redundant in the previous organization. It is a chance to showcase your strong performance with examples and achievements in the previous job and how you can reflect this on the new job you are applying to.

4- Employment Break to Pursue Higher Education

Sometimes higher education would require a full-time commitment. Underline the importance of this new education on your skills and how this will help you achieve your targets and goals in your new role. Linking this education with the position you are applying to will put you in a great position of getting hired.

5- Career Shift

When you decide to pursue a new career, it usually requires taking time to learn new skills that are needed for the new career. It might take you a while until you can find your way into the new career. As long as you have managed to keep yourself productive during this gap, the recruiters will appreciate your effort to follow your goals.

3 Tips to Minimize Gaps in Your Career History and Make Them Useful

1- Continuous Learning

You shouldn’t take a gap in your career to keep learning and advancing your knowledge. However, if you are faced with a long break, it is better to fill it with training, courses, or webinars so you remain updated with the market and progress in your career.

2- Volunteering

You can make use of your gap time to take on volunteer jobs. Fulfilling a cause can be a great way to spend this time, you will add value and will learn new things in return. Volunteer work will reflect your aspiration to be part of the greater good and that you can be a successful team member.

3- Freelancing

If you will take a gap in your career because you can’t commit to a full-time job, you can always find freelance jobs that will give you the freedom to choose your own working hours. Freelance remote jobs can help stay informed about the latest technology and will be a great source of income. It will no longer be considered a gap at this stage as you can add the freelance job to your resume.

The Conclusion:

Finally, you want to be open about discussing any time you have spent on different things other than full-time jobs. you need to always care for your career and seek career counselling in case you feel you want to support in your choices related to jobs and career gaps.


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