How to Explain a Gap in Your Employment

Throughout 2020, many people lost jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis, and many had trouble finding work. What happens when you’re continuing your job search and have to explain your career gap in an interview? Some employers view employment gaps as a major negative, but there are ways to describe it as more of a strength than a weakness. Here are a few tips to help you get started.

Focus on Continued Learning

It won’t be unusual for someone to have been out of work in portions of 2020 and into 2021, but an employer wants to know what you did with that time to be productive and of value. Focus on continued learning. Did you take classes to advance your career? Did you read books that will help you move forward? Share these experiences.

Stay Positive

It can be easy to slip into negative thoughts when you’ve been out of work for a while. You may want to talk about how hard it’s been or frustrating it is to find a new job. But don’t do that. An employer wants to hire people with positive attitudes, so focus instead on the opportunities you see for the future and what’s next for you.

Address it Directly

Especially in a situation such as the crisis we’ve faced over the last year, you shouldn’t dance around the subject. Address it directly because an employer will be familiar with the situation that led to your employment gap. Let them know that your company laid off employees or cut positions or that you may have been unable to work due to illness or caring for a family member.

Utilize a Different Resume Format

One thing you can do to impress a potential employer before you even meet with them for the first time is to format your resume appropriately. The most traditional resume format, reverse chronological, will draw attention to your employment gap. Instead, consider a functional resume that will focus more on your skills and accomplishments.

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