Employers face many red flags when looking through resumes, with employment gaps being one of the most common. Inconsistencies in your work experience can raise concern about your professionalism, commitment, and work ethic. While a hiring manager may question employment gaps, the truth is that we’re all human and sometimes need to take extended periods away from work.
Employment gaps are personal and look different for everyone. They can range in duration and be planned or involuntary. Regardless of the cause of your employment gap, it’s important to address it throughout the job search process. A few common reasons to stepping away from the workforce include:
- Caring for family members;
- Physical or mental illness;
- Long-term travelling;
- Moving to a different area;
- Being laid off; or
- Furthering your education.
Explaining Your Employment Gap
The first rule when dealing with employment gaps is to be transparent. While you may be tempted to hide the gap, hiring managers can reveal the truth with a simple employment check. Choosing to put vague dates of employment on your resume will likely come off as suspicious and leave an unfavorable first impression.
Instead of leaving employers in the dark about inconsistencies, be honest about them throughout the application and hiring processes. In your resume, consider adding a small description about why you stepped away from work as you would write a description for your formal work experience. You should also use your cover letter as an opportunity to discuss your gap in greater detail. When you land the interview, be prepared to elaborate on it even further.
To begin dismantling the stigma that employment gaps hold in the hiring world, LinkedIn has recently added a way to include a career break in your experience. You can use this tool to share why you took time away from work and explain in more detail with a short description. While a long-held belief about employment gaps is changing, you should still find ways to make the most of yours.
Finding Value in Your Employment Gap
In addition to being honest about your time away from work, you should also be proactive. Employers want to see that you spent time gaining relevant experience to maintain your candidacy if possible. This type of productivity can vary from person to person, whether it is training to receive a certification, volunteering for a local organization, or developing your professional network.
If you’re looking for a way to fill your employment gaps without committing to your next career move, temporary work may be right for you! Temporary work allows you to earn income without making a long-term work decision. At Temporary Solutions, we have a variety of job openings that cover a wide variety of fields including marketing, finance, administration, and more. Visit our website or contact us today to find your next opportunity!