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Explaining Gaps in Employment

When you get to the interview, be prepared to discuss your resume.  In addition to

explaining why you left previous companies and chit chat about the position, if you have

any gaps in employment be prepared to explain them.  Many people are scared that an

interviewer is going to discover that they were without a job for a period of time.  It is not

necessarily a bad thing, but you do have to be able to tell the interviewer why in the best

possible light.

You should always be honest when explaining any absence from working, but you do

have license to spin what you did do in the best possible light.  For instance, if you were

laid of your job and had a hard time finding a replacement but spent a lot of time with

your children you could say, “I took an opportunity to spend a few months with my

children in between jobs.”  If you took any courses or classes that adds value to your

skills as an employee be sure to mention that as well.  You may find it beneficial to add a

brief explanation on the resume itself or in a cover letter.  Most times it is hard to get to

an interview if there is a lengthy and unexplained employment gap.

If you are unsure what possible questions could be generated from your resume, have

another person look at it.  It is best to be prepared for certain questions and scenarios that

will likely come up in an interview.  You do not want to be caught unaware or

floundering for an answer.  Give yourself time to figure out the best explanation for times

of unemployment so an interviewer sees it as reasonable or even beneficial to them in the

case of additional education and classes.

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