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Explaining a Gap in Employment: How to Address It in Your Job Search

A gap in employment can be a tricky thing to navigate during a job search. Whether you took time off to care for a family member, pursued additional education or training, or were laid off from a previous job, it’s important to be honest and straightforward about the reason(s) behind the gap. But, before you start crafting your resume or cover letter, it’s important to understand that a gap in employment is not uncommon and it doesn’t have to be a roadblock in your job search.

One of the key things to remember when addressing a gap in employment is that it’s not something to be ashamed of. Life happens, and everyone has their own set of circumstances that they have to deal with. Instead of trying to hide or downplay the gap, use it as an opportunity to showcase your resilience and determination. Employers want to see that you have taken the time to better yourself and your skills during that period, and how it can be beneficial for their company.

How to explain a gap in employment

When it comes to explaining the gap in your resume or cover letter, be clear and concise. Provide a brief overview of the reason(s) behind the gap, and then highlight any activities or accomplishments that you gained during that time. This can include things like volunteering, self-study, or other relevant skill development that could be beneficial for the job. It’s also important to be honest about the reason of the gap, but also to focus on how you have grown and improved during that time.


For example, if you took time off to care for a family member, you could mention how this experience taught you valuable time-management and multitasking skills. You could also mention how it helped you develop patience, compassion and empathy. If you pursued additional education or training during the gap, you could highlight the new skills or certifications you acquired, and how it has made you a stronger candidate for the job you are applying for.

It’s also a good idea to be prepared to discuss the gap in more detail during a job interview. Be ready to provide specific examples of what you did during the gap period and how it has made you a stronger candidate. It’s important to be able to explain how the gap has helped you grow as a person and as a professional.


A gap in employment can be a tricky thing to navigate, but it doesn’t have to be a roadblock in your job search. By being honest and highlighting the activities or accomplishments you gained during the gap, you can turn it into a positive and showcase your determination and resilience. Remember, employers are looking for the best candidate for the job, and a gap in employment should not be a determining factor in their decision. Be confident in yourself and your abilities, and let your qualifications speak for themselves.

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