Life happens. It’s bound to get in the way of our jobs eventually! Whether the situation was out of your control or was a result of your actions, there is a right and wrong way to talk about what caused the gaps in your work history. As recruiters, we do our best to learn your work history by reviewing your resume and interviewing with you. If there are gaps on your employment history, be prepared to be asked about it.
These are a few common causes of gaps that we hear:
- illness or injury (this can be work related or non work related)
- pregnancy or childcare
- lay off
- “bad choices” (including hastily quitting a job, getting fired, or getting in trouble with the law)
Most of these are very understandable reasons for having gap in your work history. Recruiters are human too and we understand that life happens, so just be honest with us! If you made some bad choices in the past, talk about what you learned from the experience. For example, if you were fired from your last job for calling off too many times, tell us how you learned the importance of punctuality. What we don’t like to hear? “Nothing”. Telling us that you were doing nothing during that time is a big red flag. It shows laziness, which is never a good quality in an employee! Even if you truly were doing nothing, there are better ways to answer this question. Try instead, “I was searching for opportunities” or even “I was working on myself”. Don’t forget to include any odd jobs you might have done during that time, such as babysitting (Note, this is not the same as staying home with your own kids), mowing lawns, etc.