How Can You Address Gaps in Your Resume?

Everyone doesn’t have a job history that flows perfectly from one position to the next, and that’s okay. Employment gaps happen for plenty of reasons — e.g., getting fired or laid off, caring for a family member, tending to an illness, traveling the world — so this is something hiring managers come across on a regular basis.

A resume gap is something that will never go untouched in a job interview because employers want to hire reliable, hardworking people they can count on. It doesn’t matter if your period of unemployment is currently happening or ended 10 years ago, plan to talk about it. As long as you’re prepared with a solid response, it shouldn’t hurt your chances of getting hired.

Tell the Truth

In life and business, lying will get you nowhere. Be honest about the reason for your resume gap, because the truth will come out eventually. Even if you were fired, it’s much better for the hiring manager to hear it straight from you rather than finding out through other channels. Any boss you want to work for understands that people make mistakes and learn from them.

Maintain a Positive Attitude

If the reason for your employment gap was beyond your control, talking about it might bring feelings of resentment to the surface. Push your emotions to the side and put on a happy face for the interview. No one wants to add a bitter, angry person to their team. Explain what you learned from the situation, and how it made you stronger.

Share Relevant Skills Learned During Your Break

You were out of work for a period of time, but that doesn’t mean you weren’t learning. If you did anything remotely applicable to your professional life during the break, this can help boost your candidacy. Activities like furthering your education, doing relevant pro bono work and even gaining relevant life lessons are worth mentioning.

Continued growth during your time away from the labor force demonstrates initiative and a true passion for the work, since your efforts were entirely voluntary. If you’re currently trying to make a comeback, this can reassure the hiring manager your skills haven’t gone rusty.

Display Enthusiasm to Get Back to Work

Some people return from an employment break because they want to, while others do so for solely financial reasons. If this will be your first job post-unemployment, the hiring manager will want to make sure your heart is in the right place. Ease their mind by making it clear work is where you belong. For example, if you took time off to care for your young children, explain you cherish the time you had at home with them, but felt unfulfilled without a professional life.

A resume gap should never curtail your future career success. If you would like to learn more about how we can help you find your next behavioral health position, contact us today at (513) 651-9500 or by email at

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