How to Explain the Gap on Your Resume

Mind the gap. Literally.

If you’ve been downsized or jumped from project to project with some noticeable gaps in the timeline of your resume, you’re not alone.

There are several ways to address this during an interview and as long as you don’t portray yourself as an unambitious coach potato, you’re good to go.

According to a piece in The New York Post, after getting downsized one burned out job seeker took six months to travel the world, spend quality time with family, read books, and simply tap into creativity that was dormant for way too long.

In the piece, Gregory Giangrande, chief human resources officer for Time, Inc., advises the job seeker to talk about sabbaticals in positive terms. Instead of focusing on being burned out and not having a life, focus on the up side of time well spent.

In the piece he states, “Portray it positively, saying you took advantage of an opportunity to take six months to travel, explore, learn, etc. — which is something most working professionals don’t get to do until retirement. Add that you are energized to resume your career full- throttle — and that the time off and experience make you even better-prepared for the next gig.”

And in case you didn’t have such a jetsetting sabbatical in between gigs, no worries there. The reasons could be plentiful — you took a journalism class, cared for an ailing loved one, joined a volunteer organization, etc. The key is demonstrating to the interviewer that you utilized your time wisely instead of doing nothing else but catching up on Mad Men episodes on your DVR.

Plus, keep in mind there are countless other job seekers in the same boat as you; interviewers consistently ask about the gap question on resumes and continue to get a variety of answers. Don’t over think it but be prepared to give an answer positively and enthusiastically about what you did and also what you learned.