You will often hear that having an employment gap on your resume is bad news. It raises red flags about your ambition and your dedication to your work.
The fact is there are lots of reasons for an employment gap. Maybe you decided to take time off to travel or to go back to school. Maybe you were busy taking care of a loved one. Rather than thinking of the negative aspects of a career gap, think about the ways you can talk about it positively.
Learned new things in an nontraditional way
Let’s say you did take the time to travel. Even if you spent all your time exploring the nooks and crannies of new cities without a thought about career or professional development, you still learned new things. Talk about personal growth. Talk about learning to think on your feet. The communication skills you built talking to people from all over the world. The new perceptions you bring to life and work in this country. Frame the experience as an opportunity for personal growth.
Learned new things in a more traditional fashion
If you decided to take time off work to go back to school that’s a total plus. You realized the fast track to getting ahead is improved qualifications. You are now far more prepared for the changing employment market and bring brand new skills and determination to your new job.
Whether you took courses specifically to increase your skill set and employability or out of personal interest, the take away is you are invested in improving yourself. Talk about what your new skills/outlook bring to the job at hand. How you can’t wait to put what you’ve learned to practice.
The importance of priorities
Maybe you had to take time off to care for a loved one or yourself. Sometimes life chooses our priorities for us. When it comes times to talk about that gap during the interview quickly explain it the way and go to the positives. This is what happened. The most important thing for me during that time was X. That’s behind me now and I’m ready to focus on my career.