Taking time off from work can happen for various reasons, and explaining it on your resume can be daunting, especially if you're trying to impress a potential employer.
However, it's essential to be truthful and honest when explaining career gaps in your resume. Here are some tips to help you explain these gaps:
Firstly, career gaps aren't necessarily negative; they can be due to reasons such as having a baby, studying full-time, or traveling. Moreover, employers are likely to be more understanding of career gaps, especially during the pandemic, which has caused many job losses.
It's best to be honest from the start and not alter the dates on your resume to cover gaps as it's likely to be noticed and raise alarms for employers. Instead, explain the circumstances of your career gap and how you utilized that time. For instance, if you were made redundant or couldn't find work, highlight any volunteer work or additional training you undertook during that time.
If you had a long-term illness or injury, you don't need to go into specific details but acknowledge that you had some time off work when you were sick and that you're now ready to work again.
Similarly, if you took time off to care for young children or family members, explain the situation and the skills required to support others that reflect positively on you as an individual. If you traveled, highlight the independence, personal growth, and broad cultural awareness you gained from the experience.
During the interview, the hiring manager will ask for more details about your career gap, so be prepared to provide more information about how you spent that time and how it was productive. It's essential to show how you faced challenges with strength and resilience, and how your experiences have given you skills that you can apply to your new role.
In conclusion, career gaps can be unavoidable, but the best approach is to be open and honest about them. Employers value honesty, and showing how you utilized your time during that gap can work in your favor.