Mind the Gap: Explaining Holes in a Resume

Ah, the gap on a resume. We know it all too well; in other words, blocks of unemployed time that seem to blare loud and clear there’s a hole.

The key to gaps is having an explanation you have been productive during the down time. After all, it’s likely an interviewer will inquire about the gap so it’s important to be prepared with an answer.

Patrick Sweeney, president of consulting firm Caliper, told U.S. News & World Report, “Show how you put your time to good use. Examples could be learning more about your industry, networking with others, taking a course, a volunteer role, working closely with your friends or family on a project together or any number of things—no one is absolutely static when they are unemployed. Show that you filled that time with purpose.”

As for the good news? Due to the economy, you’re not alone in having a gap so chances are, several other candidates have them, too.

Since employers will likely more concerned with recent gaps than older ones, there’s no need to bring it up unless they do first. In the piece, he advises, “But you don’t want to walk into the interview and start talking about it…Communicate with enthusiasm and show that you’ve done your homework. That you know about their company and their business.”

In order to distinguish yourself among a sea of other candidates, staying on top of your game is critical to the interviewing process — gap or no gap.