So you've been out of the workforce for some time? Maybe it's been a few months or a few years. Perhaps you were laid off when your employer downsized, or maybe you have been working inside the home as a caretaker for children or a family member. It's possible that you resigned in order to pursue a career change and have been building skills and knowledge through training and volunteering. Maybe you've been healing from or learning to manage an illness or disability.
Regardless of the reason, it is likely you'll be asked to explain any gaps in your employment. So how do you explain gaps without giving employers a reason to doubt that you're the right fit for the role?
Our Tip: Be Honest, Ready and Interested.
1. Brief & Honest:
Explain briefly what happened. Be direct and factual without providing unnecessary personal details. While it may have been a painful or emotional transition, don't place blame or be negative.
"I resigned from my role 6 months ago to care for an aging family member. We have since hired a full-time caregiver and I am fully available to prioritize my career & get back into _________ work, which is why I am so excited about this opportunity. "
Emphasize your readiness for this next career step or explain what has changed about your situation that allows you to commit to and prioritize your career at this time. For better or worse, employers want to be sure that you're able to commit to the job, be consistent in performance and not need "excessive" time off.
"I was laid off in March when my company downsized and eliminated my position. Since then, I have been focusing on building _________ skills through ________ training in order to transition into a career in _______. Now that my course is complete, I am eager to find a ______ role, where I can apply my new skills and knowledge, which is why I am so interested in this role with your company."
Always end your answer by expressing your interest in the position for which you are interviewing. Be sure to do this throughout the interview to help the interviewer understand how this position fits into your career goals.
"I was laid off a few months ago and immediately began my job search. I've had many interviews over that time, but haven't found the right fit. I'm looking for an organization that delivers person-centered services with a trauma-informed framework. This company has a reputation of being extremely client-focused, which is why I am so interested in being a part of this team within this specific role."
Rule of Thumb: Frame your answer in a way that indicates that you are an in-demand candidate, even if you've been job seeking for several months. Emphasize that you're looking for the right fit...which is likely true! It is your career, you have the right to be selective!
#CareerTipTuesday #ExplaininGaps #InterviewTips