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Explaining an Employment Gap: Strategies for Success

Discover effective strategies for how to explain gaps in employment on your resume and increasing your chances of success in the job market.

Why Do People Take Employment Gaps?

Addressing gaps in employment on your resume can be a daunting task, but it’s important to understand why people take employment gaps. Here are the many potential reasons why:

  • taking care of family responsibilities
  • traveling the world
  • pursuing a passion project
  • explore new career paths or industries
  • gain new skills or enhance existing ones
  • start your own business or work as a freelancer
  • prioritize your health and well-being
  • weak job market or economy

So, if you’re considering taking an employment gap, remember that there are many other people who have taken one too. Embrace the opportunity and make the most of it!

How To Explain Gaps In Employment

Addressing Employment Gaps in the Cover Letter

Another strategy for addressing gaps in employment is to use your cover letter to explain the reasons behind these gaps. Be honest and transparent about the circumstances that led to the gaps, whether it was due to personal reasons, career changes, or other factors. Use this opportunity to highlight any relevant skills or experiences you gained during the gaps, such as freelance work, volunteering, or professional development courses. Proactively provide context to potential employers and show that you are proactive and self-aware.

Highlighting Transferable Skills

When explaining gaps in employment on your resume, one effective strategy is to highlight your transferable skills. Even if you were not employed, you might have gained valuable skills through other experiences or personal projects. For example, if you took a break from work to travel, you could emphasize the communication and problem-solving skills you developed during your travels. By showcasing these transferable skills, you demonstrate to employers that you have valuable abilities that can contribute to their organization.

Showcasing Professional Development during Gaps

If you have gaps in employment, it’s essential to showcase any professional development you pursued during that time. This could include online courses, certifications, workshops, or any other form of learning that enhanced your skills and knowledge. By highlighting your commitment to continuous learning and improvement, you demonstrate to employers that you are proactive and motivated, even during periods of unemployment. Showcasing your professional development helps to fill the gap in your resume and show that you have been actively investing in your professional growth.

Utilizing Freelance or Volunteer Experience

Another effective strategy is to utilize freelance or volunteer experience to bridge the gaps in your employment history. If you took on freelance projects or volunteered for organizations, highlight these experiences on your resume. Describe the projects you worked on, the skills you utilized, and the impact you made. This demonstrates your ability to stay productive and contribute to meaningful work. It also shows that you have been actively engaged in your field in a voluntary or freelance basis. Employers value candidates who take initiative and find opportunities for growth and contribution.


In conclusion, many people will take employment gaps in their careers for various reasons. Be honest and transparent about the reasons behind the gaps and use the opportunity to provide context and highlight any relevant experiences.

By implementing these strategies, you increase your chances of success in the job market. Don’t let employment gaps discourage you – embrace them as opportunities to highlight your unique skills and experiences.

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