Depending on why there is a gap in your employment history, it will dictate how you are going to handle it. Anything under six months really doesn’t need to be explained, but if you do need to do some explaining:
SICK: Well (and I hope you are well now) just simply tell them that, without all the details, keep it short and sweet. TMI is the golden rule here. Unless you are in the medical field and you are applying for jobs in the medical field and your audience would enjoy the details then, by all means, I guess…
- I was in an automobile accident and was recovering from my injuries and now I am back to my normal activities.
- I was ill/had surgery/broke my leg and I was recovering from my…….….and now I am back to mountain biking/tennis/jogging…(if I were you I might pick a relevant activity to the job I am seeking, just saying!)
LOOKING FOR A JOB: This one is tricky and you have to handle it correctly. If you have been pounding the pavement (we don’t do that anymore, but back in the day before computers we physically had to go out into the world and walk into brick and mortar buildings-hence pounding the pavement) anyway, if you have been at it for more than six months and been getting nothing but NO’s, well it is probably best if you kept that to yourself. Ditto if you have been hearing crickets for six months.
So, what have you been doing with your downtime other than listening to the cricket music, well you have been industrious and have been taking self-improvement classes on leadership, time management, computer coding, teamwork, networking etc…anything that makes you better at what you do, adds skills and shows that you are a lifelong learner.
This also gives you something to use as an answer to that painful interview question: Tell us about one of your weaknesses? Well, I received a certificate in….to overcome…and I have implemented it in my….and the results have been…….
MENTAL BREAK: We all need them, but sadly few of us take them. Now how to handle it on a resume and at an interview. I would be honest and tell them I took a break to take care of life and myself or reconnect with my family or be a parent or whatever the case may be. Keep it short and sweet and don’t dwell on the days you laid on the couch and watched your favorite show for hours, uninterrupted with commercials, because you pay for the premium service. Or how you started 10 projects, but never got around to finishing them.
Hope this made you smile. Have a happy day!!