Wahrman Career Consulting
Develop the Whole You

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Tips for Developing the Whole You

How to Account for Time Taken off From Work During an Interview

1. Many of us of have had to take time off from work, either to deal with a family matter or because we have found ourselves without work and it has taken time to find a new job. The key is how to make the gap look as positive as possible during your interview.

2. DIscuss as many achievements in your previous job as possible. Make it clear that you did have success before you left and if possible have recommendations from your previous employer.

3. Talk about what you have been doing during your time off and talk about it the same way you are talking about your work experience. Volunteer work is important, also going back to school and doing consulting or freelance work.

4. If you chose to leave your previous job, in an interview, be positive about it and make it clear that you left for a specific reason, but that reason has resolved itself and you are now ready to dive back into work.

5. If you were let go, discuss if this was a downsizing, a restructuring, or if the company was relocating. If there was a personal reason that you were terminated be honest about it and make it clear but have a good reason.

6. If your gap was years ago you can simply not bring it up. Only mention your more current positions.

7. One way to “hide” gaps especially short ones is to only list your employment dates by years on your resume. Skip using months.

8. You can also use your cover letter to briefly explain a gap. This is especially helpful with something personal and it clears any questions up right away.

9. Please remember to always be honest, that is the most important thing. If an employer is interested in you they will verifiy your discussion and if they find things that are untrue you will be eliminated.

10. When interviewing, don’t be nervous if the question comes up. Just answer briefly and honestly, employers understand that things happen in people’s lives and you are there to do a great job for them!


Peg Wahrman