Posted December 31, 2014 by

The Crack in the Chronology of Your Career

Conceptual hand drawn career flow chart on black chalkboard. Skills, Education, Values, Vision, Interests, Goals, Talent. Vector Illustration

Conceptual hand drawn career flow chart on black chalkboard. Skills, Education, Values, Vision, Interests, Goals, Talent. Vector Illustration. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

The task of seeking a new job can be a stressful one. As the world’s population grows by 1.14% each year (meaning approximately 75 million babies are born every year!), the global need for work and employment increases simultaneously. I don’t mean the babies need to work (duh)!

What A Career Gap May be Interpreted As:

You may be skilled, educated, and very passionate about a certain job while applying. However, that itty-bitty gap in your chorological resume (again, this is preferred by most employers) can be a red flag for an employer who may interpret it as: “not familiar with current trends in the field” or “I wonder why no one was willing to hire this person.”

What to Do When the Gap Appears?

Have no fear. It may help you to know that career gaps are more common than you may think. At the time of application you may feel that you are the only potential applicant with this issue, but a lot of people have numerous reasons for gaps in their career due to different unforeseen circumstances.

  • “When Kevin was born, I decided to stay at home for a while. He was just a baby and I wanted to be his mother for the time being.”
  • “My mother was diagnosed with cancer. I had to be there for her since Dad wasn’t either.”
  • “I decided I wanted more qualifications to further advance in my career.”
  • “I was laid off after a merger and I decided I needed some time to sort out my future plans and career path.”
  • “I decided to take some time off to travel before settling down.”

How to Deal With Them

Believe it or not, these are some of the most common reasons for a career gap and many people deal with them every day. The only trick is to know how to be clever with them. Like all other things like interview and resume writing, a career gap is simply something that needs to be handled wisely. For example, all of the above problems can be answered honestly and wisely like so:

  • “I spent six months off to take care of my new born baby. I have, however, made other arrangements for him now and I am ready to start working and earning again.”
  • “I spent one year taking care of a sick family member. My services are no longer required and I am fully ready to join the workforce again.”
  • “I decided to gain more expand my knowledge and be better qualified for more jobs in the employment industry, particularly this field.”
  • “Due to company policies, recent hires were made redundant after company budget cuts. I did, however, learn a lot from my previous workplace, and my employer reference can provide you with more details on my achievements there.”
  • “I decided to take some time off to travel and learn more about the world, different cultures, and its diversity. It definitely enhanced my perspective about life and gave me a new outlook.”

Just remember to be honest, however. Don’t try to ignore or leave out those gaps because that would only cause your employer to wonder more about what you’re hiding. They do notice!

Tip: Keeping your resume short and everything minimal would also be a good idea so you can mention only the year of employment, instead of date or month. Keep the gap brief in the resume and elaborate more in the cover letter. It’s better to discuss it yourself beforehand instead of being asked, because that way your employer won’t assume that you are hiding a weakness.

Lastly, just be positive. If you are fit for the job, and get called for the interview, you definitely have something in you worthy for consideration!

Anais John loves to talk about and engage in everything academic and digital. Presently, she’s working for an online service, providing essay help.

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