How to Return to the Workforce after an Employment Gap?
“What have you been doing for all the years you have been out of employment?” This is a common question that any human resource manager will ask you to explain the gap in your work history. You may have taken time off work because you were ill, to further your studies, to babysit, or to travel. How do you justify your employment gap without sounding redundant? Here are the hacks:
1. Be Positive
Your resume should bring out your strengths while hiding your weaknesses. The HR may see this sooner than later, but you do not have to make it so obvious.
2. Declare it on your cover letter
Job hunting after taking an extended break may seem like you are doing it for the first time. If you are comfortable about mentioning it in your cover letter, a line or two will do. If you took a break to further your studies, this would be the perfect moment to say something like,; you took some time off to widen your scope on the specific niche you are currently pursuing. You aim to convince HR that you are ready to join the workforce with a bang.
3. Be quiet about it
Sometimes, not saying anything about it may save you the burden of giving raw explanations. Just write your resume as you would. This is the perfect time to accentuate your skills and experience. Chances are, your strengths may capture the employer’s interest. They might not even notice your absence from the workforce for all those years.
If the employment subject comes up during the interview, you can tell it exactly as you mentioned in your cover letter. But if you are in employment despite the gap, you can be quiet about it. Just customize your resume as you would. Remember to be honest about the dates on your training and working experience.
4. Get reference letters
Your interviewer relies so much on referrals that they are willing to lend an ear to them. Now is the perfect moment to find a reliable referee to write a reference letter for you. As a job seeker, you are not supposed to burn your bridges. If you left your previous company in good faith and your level of expertise is unmatched, it will be easy for them to vouch for you.
Why are employers reluctant to recruit people with work history gaps?
1. Has it become a habit?
It is typical for any employer to be anxious about hiring a person who has been absent from the workforce. They are afraid that quitting your new job has become a habit for you. The last thing they need is to fire someone almost immediately they were hired. Hiring and firing staff cripples their investments, and that is not something any entrepreneur wants to go through. It would be best if you assured them that you are dedicated to helping them grow and can work without supervision.
2. Are you still competent?
Your potential employer could be worried about your current skill sets since you have been away from the workforce. This is natural for any performing company. As a job seeker, you need to prove beyond reasonable doubts that you are up for the challenges. Use the gap to convince them that you have devised new tricks to stay relevant. After all, taking some time off has strengthened your set skills, instilled a positive working attitude, and boosted your confidence in the job.