Employers nowadays tend to improve their workers’ work-life balance and overall working conditions. That is why requests for flexible work schedule are becoming more popular. The number of companies with flexible work arrangements is growing, according to The Personnel Today. But what should you do if there is no flexibility in the workplace at your company? Don’t be afraid. We will tell you how to ask for flexible working hours without any risk to lose your job.
Nowadays it’s not an easy deal to get a job, and the task becomes even more tough if you have employment gaps on your resume. The most recent question recruiters would ask is: “Please explain any gaps in your employment history”. Whether you took time off to travel or opted for volunteering, gaps in employment history are a little off-putting to hiring managers. It may give the wrong impression about your capacities and aspirations. However, even if your employment history isn’t perfect, you can still get a job if you know how to positively spin it off and come out looking like the best candidate for the job.
In this article, we gather the most effective tips how to explain gaps in work history during the interview.
Explain reasons for gap in employment
First of all, keep calm and honest, show the recruiter there are no reasons to worry about. Give a plain and sincere answer why you weren’t employed for some period of time. Did you have some problems with your health or some personal issue took place? Did you go volunteering abroad or used that time to grow professionally by attending courses and training? Did you work on your own projects or freelance? There’s no “right” answer, explain everything in a positive and confident tone. Anything that shows you've kept yourself occupied and up-to-date with the changes in your field will only be a plus for you.
How to explain long term unemployment?
Sometimes your resume may show a gap of almost half a year- although recruiters propose three months and above. When asked what you did during that time you can mention charitable efforts, consultancy ventures or even further studies. Tell about any meaningful activities, such as earning of professional certification, creating a website, visiting of specialized meet ups, seminars or training. Don’t say you’re actively interviewing and about the job you almost got, it’s the red flag for any recruiter. Better focus on the results you got, and that you’ve kept current and used your time off to improve your skills and learn new technologies.
Use your volunteering experience to explain gaps. Describe your work and where you went to volunteer, what particular projects you participated. Moreover, more than 85% of recruiters put above applicants with volunteer experience on their back.
The example of the answer:
“I decided to volunteer for the children polio campaign. My task was to supervise a group of individuals who were distributing medical supplies. Being in this position boosted my management skills a lot.”
How to explain gaps due to having kids?
If you have been a stay-at-home mom, you know how hard it is to get back to work, especially if you took time off to take care of your baby. But you shouldn’t worry about it and be proud instead. Don’t make excuses and be embarrassed, tell what experience your motherhood gave you, what transferable skills you gain. It helps recruiters know what you have been up to rather than be left guessing. Tell about “activities” you were up to. Any part-time job, volunteering or charity projects you took part in, even mentioning children’s recreational activities would be great. Don’t forget, that being a mom means to be a leader with great organizational, administrative, communicational and management skills!
Your answer may sound this way:
“Being a mom is one of the best experiences I gained in my life. It taught me so many things: to be a multitasking, pressure-resistant and highly organized leader of our little family. In combination with my hard skills it only made me a better professional.”
How to explain a gap in employment due to illness?
Sickness is a naturally occurring phenomenon and is inevitable. Even the recruiter knows that. So, if this was the reason for your career break, just go ahead and tell them. However, make it clear that now you are okay and ready to get back into employment. Nevertheless, avoid going into unnecessary details that might harm your chances to get a job.
A good example of the answer would be:
“A year back I was diagnosed with a non-aggressive tumor in my head and I had to take a break and work on my health. The treatment period has taught me to be patient and sensitive to what others are going through. And now that it is all gone, I am so excited to get back to work again.”
How to explain gaps due to personal issues or traveling?
If you took time off for some personal reasons or to deal with a family issue you might not want to share it with everyone. You may tell in general about the problem and said that it’s too personal thing you would rather keep private and not discuss in details. However, don’t be rude and mention the issue is in the past and won’t influence your work.
If you took time for leisure or traveling, your employment gap explanation might be a little bit difficult, but everything depends on you. Stay positive and demonstrate that you had a solid work ethic before and after your hiatus. Traveling may be a great skill-boosting tool as well. Show how you grew professionally and personally. Being out of your usual booth makes you step out from your comfort zone and become more open-minded. While being on the road your definitely improve your communication skills and wider your network, become better at socializing and teamwork. You learn how to be more organized and develop good time-management skills. Changing places makes you more adaptable and improves your decision-making skills. Traveling enhances cultural awareness and as a bonus, you might learn a new language.
Gap interview questions and answers due to joblessness
Sometimes searching for the perfect job might leave you unemployed for a long time. If that is the case then be positive and very honest about it. Tell your interviewer that you were looking for the current position but you hadn’t got it until this opportunity came up. You could put it like: “I was looking for a job in a current field that suits my skills and abilities. I got more industry certifications and practice while my time off. And now, when I saw this opportunity in your company, I aim to show what I got.”
General tips on how to explain gaps in employment history
- Employment gaps are typical and everybody had them during their working life. Don’t freak out about it.
- Never lie. If the recruiter will catch you being dishonest you may lose all your chances to get a job.
- Don't try to shroud the gap and expect recruiters won't notice it. In addition, it would look strange and ponder more questions on what else you are covering up and why.
- Be prepared to clarify the gap. Think about some sample answers.
- Your answers should be clear and polite.
- Focus on the gained experience and improved skills during your work gap period.
Sometimes, it is not enough to be an outstanding professional to build a successful career. Networking is important. And in order to socialize successfully in a business environment, one should know the rules of business etiquette. Therefore, if you want to earn respect at work and demonstrate perfect professionalism in the workplace, follow this list of good manners.
Volunteering has seen quite a jump in popularity in recent years. It seems like the people of today are becoming more and more aware of their own local problems and far-reaching worldwide problems and uses volunteering not only to explain their employment gaps. Volunteering is the commitment of one’s time and energy, for the better good of society and the community, the environment. You could say that you are giving back the community for all it has done for you. However, there are many benefits of volunteering that can be very valuable to you.
Ah, the age-old routine: you’ve found yourself unemployed, in need of a job, and wanting to not starve to death. Great! What do you do? How do you look for the next job? You might go to an online job board service, such as LinkedIn or Monster, and skim through all the hundreds of jobs. You might get out your newspaper and examine the job listings section. You might even attend a job fair.
But what if I told you there was another way to find yourself a job? No, this is not one of those freelance markets like UpWork, Freelancer, and Fiverr. I present to you the giant of a site, Facebook.
What is success? It’s been defined many times so far. Scientists used to attribute it to wealth, great career, happy family and self-realization. If only it has been that easy! In fact, it means different things to everyone. The real answer is inside of you—not in Google or encyclopedia. What is success to you? Let’s give you some time to think it over and focus on myths of it instead.
“Hello! My name is Mr. Turkey and I would like to express my interest in White House Thanksgiving Turkey position.”
If a Thanksgiving turkey had ever written a cover letter, it would probably start like this. Probably, each turkey dreams to go to the White House for a Thanksgiving Day, as this is the only way for them to escape their cruel fate and dive into the luxurious life. And we are going to tell you why!
There’s nothing “better” in the world than a bad job, isn’t there? Ah, the pay is absolutely abysmal, the work hours move at the pace of a dead snail, the horrible boss is overburdening you with mundane tasks, the management is eyeing you like a vulture stalks its prey, and, last but not least, Tom from accounting wants you fired just because you ate the last doughnut this Thursday. What in the world is wrong with you, Tom? Just get a life!
Most of us dream to build an outstanding career and make the Forbes List. However, each year only 400 Americans really do that. The question we ask – what makes them so successful? What special skills do they have that help them to build a prominent career? Researching the qualities of those who already achieved career success, you might not become the second Henry Ford, but at least you will be able to develop a strong set of skills for resume that boost your career to the next level. So now, let’s make a plan of skills to develop in order to become rich and famous!
Have you ever felt being the best fit for a job opening, but your resume didn’t even win the interview? When it comes to self-advertising and self-assessment we often feel lost and confused. We don’t want to look conceited in recruiters’ eyes, however, we want to be assessed fairly and know that our skills and efforts made to get them were appreciated. That is why when searching for a job you should focus on how to make your resume stand out and precisely demonstrate your skills and abilities. First of all, let’s check if you had prepared your resume skills list and made strong and professional skills section of resume.
Have you ever had an amazing interview at an amazing company? From the moment you entered the building, it was unbelievable, the interior looked cute, the employees were enthusiastically buried in work and the coffee points were filled with friendly chatter. To sweeten the deal, the interview was going absolutely great.