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Interview 101: How to Discuss Your Employment Gap

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Interview 101: How to Discuss Your Employment Gap

Navigating an interview can be nerve-wracking, especially when faced with questions about an employment gap on your resume. Whether you took time off to travel, pursue further education, or care for family, addressing the gap with confidence and transparency is essential. In this blog post, we'll provide tips and strategies to help you navigate this potentially tricky topic during your next interview. From framing your experience positively to highlighting your skills gained during the gap, we'll equip you with the tools to ace the conversation and land your dream job.

Own Your Narrative

The first step in discussing your employment gap is to own your narrative and frame it in a positive light. Rather than viewing the gap as a liability, consider it as a valuable experience that contributed to your personal and professional growth. Emphasize the reasons behind your decision, whether it was to pursue a passion, gain new skills, or support loved ones. By confidently owning your narrative, you demonstrate self-awareness and resilience, qualities that employers value in candidates.

Focus on Skills and Achievements

During the interview, shift the focus away from the gap itself and instead highlight the skills and achievements you acquired during that time. Whether you took courses to enhance your expertise, volunteered for a cause you're passionate about, or freelanced on projects relevant to your field, emphasize the value and relevance of these experiences to the role you're applying for. By showcasing your proactive approach to self-improvement and continuous learning, you demonstrate your commitment to professional development despite the employment gap.

Be Honest and Transparent

While it's tempting to sugarcoat or gloss over the reasons for your employment gap, honesty and transparency are key to building trust with potential employers. Be upfront about the circumstances that led to the gap, but avoid dwelling on negative aspects or making excuses. Instead, focus on how you used the time constructively and what you learned from the experience. By demonstrating authenticity and integrity, you position yourself as a trustworthy candidate who's capable of overcoming challenges with resilience and maturity.

Bridge the Gap

To further alleviate concerns about your employment gap, take proactive steps to bridge the transition back into the workforce. This could include updating your skills through online courses or certifications, attending industry events and networking opportunities, or seeking temporary or freelance work to maintain momentum and stay connected to your field. By demonstrating initiative and a commitment to staying current in your industry, you reassure employers of your readiness to reenter the workforce and hit the ground running.

Discussing an employment gap during an interview can be intimidating, but with the right approach, it's an opportunity to showcase your resilience, resourcefulness, and commitment to personal and professional growth. Remember, everyone's career journey is unique, and an employment gap is not a reflection of your worth as a candidate. With the right mindset and preparation, you can turn your employment gap into a compelling part of your story and secure the job opportunities you deserve.

You may also check out our latest job opportunities with Companies that Care who provide return to work policy, paid parental leave, coaching program, and many more! 

Half the Sky's mission is to supply the tools that can give every woman the ability to build a successful career and be fully prepared for the future of work. So, that they can lead a healthy, prosperous and more balanced/blended lifestyle of their choosing.  By building your confidence, you’re setting foundations to empower yourself and your career.  The world is your oyster, and it starts with you. 

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