If you were downsized or left your job in 2015, it’s time to compose an explanation about your career gap for hiring influencers when you get back into or renew your job search.
A three- or four-month blank spot on your resume is overlooked, even a very successful job search can take that long. Once you hit the six-month mark, HR professionals, recruiters, and other hiring influencers want to know: What have you done during this six months?
A long hiatus in your career, six months to several years, is acceptable as long as you explain what you did during that time. Many successful, driven executives have taken time for family, emergencies, health concerns, and come back strong into their careers. They made certain to reassure hiring influencers that the time was spent meaningfully, and doing something that is unlikely to impact the hiring organization if they choose you to fill a position.
Companies do understand taking time for caregiving for a sick child or parent, using a gap to expand your volunteer work to enhance your community, for mission trips with your religious organization, or to work on your own health during and after a serious illness.
If you’re having a difficult time in your current job search, it may be time to hire a Resume Writer or Career Coach. During the time you work with them, delve into volunteering with a local charity. Join the board, or just offer your time and energy on an ongoing basis. That way, when you are ready to re-enter the job market with a solid, attractive resume and an aggressive search plan, you have a ready-made explanation for your work gap: You have taken the time to work on your career plan and to volunteer in your community.
When your career gap of six months or more has a simple, honest explanation, your interviewer will be satisfied and you both can move on to the next question!