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How To Explain That Resume Gap

Having a gap in your resume can feel intimidating. It may be a source of insecurity, especially if you have the opportunity to interview, and you need to explain the gap to a hiring manager. Fear not! Gaps in resumes happen. It's how you handle it that really matters. You might have taken time off to care for an ill family member, or simply decided to backpack across the country for three months. Whatever the situation is, following the strategies below will help you address questions about the gap like a pro!

1. Stay Positive

A gap in a resume isn't always a bad thing. Perhaps you really needed to take some time off from your fast-paced career and are now better off because you did. It's important to stay positive when discussing the gap. If you were fired from a position, resulting in an unexpected resume gap, focus on what you learned from the situation. You might emphasize how having time to step back and re-evaluate your career helped to solidify your goals and passions. Be sure to explain that your values and work ethic align with those of the company. Despite the reason for your resume gap, showing your positive personality will help hiring managers see you as a promising candidate.

2. Be Honest

Now that you have a positive attitude set and ready to go, it's important to remain honest and open with your employer. It's not always easy to admit when a resume gap is the result of a less than perfect situation, however, it's easier to be honest now than explain a lie later. If you were fired from a job, explain why the position was not a good fit for you, and what you learned about yourself following the experience. As stated above, try to keep things as positive as possible. Avoid lying at all costs, as honesty and integrity are priceless attributes that will take you much further.

3. Be Enthusiastic!

Remember to remain in the present during an interview. Even if a less than stellar memory has been brought up, your job is to turn the conversation back around to what matters. At this very moment in your life you are ready and enthusiastic to join a company. Once you have answered the question regarding the gap, your job is to steer the conversation back to the present. The present is what matters, and with a positive, honest, and enthusiastic attitude like yours, you certainly are on the right path.

My name is Joost and I have been active as a recruiter for the past 5 years. At, I share my experience, tips and the "secret" tricks to help you get a job. Do you have questions? Please send me an email via the contact form.