A gap in employment can be quiet stressful for anyone. Most of the times one is always wondering how to tackle the situation in an interview concerning the gap. A gap in your experience can give the employer an incorrect impression. However, if explained well, can help you effectively land your next job and gain the trust of your employer.
Follow these tips to explain the gap in your experience
Emphasize why it was that you were let go of your previous job
Probably, your previous organization was downsizing and they asked you to leave. On the other hand, you had to stay home post-pregnancy, which required you to eventually quit your job. One of the common reasons to leave an organization is for pursuing higher education. Most of the professional degrees require you to prepare for an entrance exam. While you are working, it is, however, difficult to tackle preparation for these exams as well as manage work. In addition, after you have given the entrance examination, most of the times you are quite not satisfied with the score. This puts you back on the search for a job. Thus, leaving a job for studying for entrance examinations is common. Be sure to emphasize every aspect of this reasonably well.
In the absence of any of them, you would have never thought of staying home, unemployed. The key to explaining the gap – is emphasizing on what caused you to stay away from being employed for long.
To explain the gap in your experience – your major contemplation will be whether, to be honest, or not. The right thing to do is being honest. Well, if you think about it, lying about the gap in your experience can get you into more trouble. The impression you leave behind matters. Stating your reason in all its honesty can win you the chance of actually landing the job. There is no reason to fear or lie about the gap, even if it is voluntary. Many individuals go on sabbaticals to travel the world. At the next interview, you think that speaking the truth may not leave a good impression on your employer. However, honesty has its own rewards! Gather the courage to explain the reason for your gap being travel – your interviewer may choose to understand. Hence, do not hesitate to be honest. State every detail accurately.
Emphasize on the activities/courses you took up during the gap
If you have been on a break for more than three months, it is quite likely for boredom to get to you. An idle mind is never good. You will soon find yourself enroll in some course, or actively take up a sport or volunteer. Get the hint – this is exactly what can help you explain, you were not idle all along. In fact, the course that you took is value addition on your resume. Therefore, prepare yourself well for the interview to explain elaborately the courses you took up during the gap.
Smartly design your Resume
If you have a gap of more than two years, it is going to be obvious in your resume. A gap of fewer than two years can also catch the attention of the interviewer while scanning through your resume. However, there exists a subtle art of stating the duration smartly and not making it obvious in your resume. This topic must be ideally left for discussion at the time of the interview.
Use the YYYY format, instead of the MON YYYY format adjacent to your organizational experience. Using this, you tend to concise the gap taken between your experiences, and it appears to be short. This trick doesn’t mean you won’t be asked about your gap. If the gap is too huge, it’s noticed. Although, using the trick to put it smartly on your resume, can gain you some leverage.
You need to be prepared for whatever the interviewer throws at you. You should not be stammering, or even sound nervous. The interviewer will try all these attempts to put you in a spot. This means you have to be prepared well in advance. Think of all the possible ways you can tackle the questions. Just stay calm when you are being asked anything at the interview. Be well prepared to discuss any matter that comes up or any concerns the interviewer may have regarding your gap. Your preparedness will highlight your confidence, and before you know, you’ll be signing your offer letter!