In times of recession or after big family changes, gaps in your employment history are normal. But that doesn’t mean that employers will understand what they mean. You may be asked: Why are there gaps in your employment history?
Your answer might be easy. For example, if you’ve been working as a consultant for many different contract jobs that are only set to last a specific amount of time like three or six months. This is easy for employers to understand.
If your family has just had a baby and you took time off to care for your newborn, this is totally understandable. Your employer will understand this information as well.
It starts to get difficult when this question infringes upon your privacy. For example, there might be a gap in employment history if you were hospitalized or fired from a previous job. It is acceptable for you to keep this information private.
Prepare yourself for how you will answer this question by following these steps:
1.Ask yourself the following questions:
Did you work on any personal projects during the gap in your employment history?
Did you do any volunteer work?
Did you go back to school or take any classes?
Do you frequently job hop?
2. Focus on the positive aspects of your employment gaps.
Being able to show that you were advancing your career by learning new skills during your time away from the workforce is great information to share during your interview.
If you frequently job hop, there are positive ways to explain this – don’t assume the hiring manager thinks your job hopping equates to the inability to hold a job.
Firstly, millennials job hop more frequently than past generations and hiring managers are beginning to understand this culture more. This LinkedIn article explains more in-depth.
Secondly, job hopping can sometimes leave a candidate with a really unique blend of skills that might be the exact reason why a new employer is looking to hire you. Be confident in your skill set. Explain your strengths during your interview.
3. Double check your dates.
Do not lie on your resume about start and end dates for your previous positions. Your past employers and references will be called. Lying on your resume in any way could cost you a great job.
4. Do a resume run-through.
Go through your resume and write down what you were doing during each gap in employment as a refresher. That way, you will be prepared no matter which gap (if there is more than 1) they ask you about.
5. Practice your response.
Find someone to practice your interview with. Being prepared will help you feel confident during your interview even when the questions are tough.
If you’re working with us, your recruiter will help you prepare for your interview.
6. Be confident.
Just because you have a gap in your employment history does not mean that you do not deserve the career of your dreams! Gaps are more normal than you might think. There is no need to have an apologetic tone or to feel self-conscious.
We hope this blog helps you to prepare for your next interview. Here are some other blogs you might find helpful from our interview questions series: