Explaining the Gaps

Those employment gaps on your resume can raise plenty of red flags for employers. Their imagination is running wild and they will think of anything and everything that you did in those unexplained 4 years away from work. Maybe she married rich and left the workforce. What if he won the lottery and went on an African safari? I bet she robbed a bank and was locked up for a few years. Yes, these answers can be absolutely absurd. But they are legitimate until you are able to explain yourself. No one can clarify the glaring gaps on your resume better than yourself. So Lucy, you got some ‘splainin to do!

First of all, don’t worry if you have employment gaps. Most people do. Whether it was a pregnancy or a sickness that kept you from work, you most likely need to explain this to prospective employers. What better way to do this then a cover letter. One of the great uses of a cover letter is to explain why gaps exist – hiring managers never like to guess! The more time you take to explain up front, the better chances you have at landing the interview and ultimately the job. Contrary to popular belief, most employers actually do have a soft side and they can understand your situation. Just because you were out of the workforce for a few years doesn’t mean you lost your talent or capabilities. Prove to them in your cover letter that you are still smart, qualified, enthusiastic, and driven in any position you are given.

This is why cover letters exist – to give details about your work history and clarify any bumps that you experienced along the way. Don’t let employers’ imaginations run wild. Give them a reason and they will respect you as a candidate.

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2 Responses

  1. This doesn’t help; in today’s job market, every job simply says that you can’t have any gaps in your employment at all or they will simply not consider you at all. Period.

    You won’t get past the paper-screen if you’ve been a housewife for any length of time. It’s over. You’ll never work again.

  2. This is completely true. I worked as a HR Recruiting Assistant, so I have seen it first hand.
    Companies tend to look at a person work history without any remorse. They don’t care if you had any medical problems, or if you chose to stay out of work because of the kids. They don’t care. You may have to start at the bottom and work your way to the top to get the position you want.
    But think about, a company who doesn’t care about your time spent with kids or doesn’t understand that you are only human; is a company you don’t want to work with. You won’t be there long anyways.

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