Though you know why you took that time away from your career, it’s important for you to clearly explain your decision and how it worked to your advantage? Instead of getting caught in a bind of stress and fumbling your words as the way we all do, enter your interview prepared to master your employment gap explanation. Here are six tips to help you overcome the inevitable “What have you been up to?” interview question.
The Top Simple Tips to master your employment gap explanation
1. Offer an explanation
Find the right balance and explain truly about the reason that made you take time off no matter what it is. Tell the interviewer the truth that you had to decompress after few high-pressure years in your field or you had to make a choice to support your husband/family, for example. Don’t cloak yourself in mystery, please!
The hiring manager will likely feel comfortable if she or he knows what happened to you and that you didn’t just run away from your job.
However, don’t get stuck feeling like you are trying to prove why you stepped away from your career. Explaining is not justifying!
2. Don't overshare
Remember! Explanation doesn’t mean oversharing, too. You will intend to give others too much information that is not necessary, just because you are in a moment of panic or feel nervous.
People neither want to hear too much about your own adventure during your gap time nor have intention to know how you afforded it. Your hiring manager doesn’t want to know how hard you’ve tried to deal with your children and the diapers before their bedtime, too.
So, think carefully before saying about your challenges or hardship, please!
You certainly don’t want others to break down in tears during your interview because of your tragedies, do you? That won’t give any help, just make both you and your interviewer confused and tired. Try to find a therapist and deal with your own problem by yourself somewhere else, not in the interview.
3. Highlight new skills
Apart from proving your technical ability to the interviewer, you should highlight some new skills that you’ve got during the employment gap. You can mention to some classes, courses or even conferences you attended during that time. Otherwise, you can show them some new soft skills you had gained: communication, adaptability, problem solving, and critical observation for examples.
Try to concrete examples and situations you had learned from and SHOW how better you become, but don’t TELL about your hardship, please! Nobody have free time for you to do that.
4. Emphasize why now's the time
No 1: Explained about reasons of your employment gap.
No 2: Don’t complain about your life
No 3: Highlight your upgraded skills
And, now! Time for you to tell the interviewer why you re-enter the workforce.
The most importance for you to let the hiring manager know you are 100% ready to get back to work because you want it, not only you need it.
5. Always be confident!
Confidence is always the best solution for every problems you have. If you are not enough confident to show your decision on your employment gap, the hiring manager will feel that you are not unsure about yourself. Don't downplay what you've been up. Own your decision and explain it clearly and confidently.
6. Move on
After following the five above, you will realize that there's no reason to dwell on your employment gap. It's right there on your resume! Just prepare to address it, but don't feel as though you need to acknowledge it for more than a minute or two.
Chances are, the timespan of your employment gap is a lot shorter than the amount of experience you actually have. There's no need to let this brief moment of time define you or what you're capable of bringing to a company. Go ahead and move onto your previous experience and all those awesome accomplishments you've already banked.
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