How to Find a Job with a Work History Gap
It's not easy to find a job, even when you have a ton of experience. But if you have a gap in your work history, the task of finding employment can seem downright impossible. Still, it's possible to land a job with an employment gap: You just need to be strategic about your search and willing to do some extra legwork. Here are some tips for making this happen:
Evaluate your options
You might be surprised to find that there’s more to you than what is on your resume. If you aren’t sure what type of job or industry you want, evaluate your options based on what you can do and what you have done. Next, consider the next step in your career path. This will help narrow down the field and make it easier for employers to see why they should hire you over other candidates who don't have gaps in their work history.
Get some help
When you're looking for a job, it can be hard to know where to start. There are a lot of steps and processes that need to happen before you land the position you want. If this is your first time searching for work, it can be especially difficult because there are so many things that could go wrong along the way. If this sounds like you, we will help explain some of the best ways for finding jobs with gaps in employment history.
First things first: make sure your resume and cover letter are up-to-date! If they aren't already perfect when applying for jobs without gaps in employment history, they need to be ready-to-go before applying at any companies with open jobs (even if they aren't hiring right now).
When preparing these documents: make sure everything on them is true; include relevant experiences that show off what makes you great at working with others; highlight specific skillsets such as data entry or customer service skills if applicable; proofread carefully so there are no typos or grammatical errors present anywhere within either document (check spelling too!).
Take stock of your transferable skills
You may have an impressive resume, but you will have to prove that your skills are transferable. This means that they align with the job description and can be used in the new position.
To prove your skills are transferable, list all of your prior work experience and personal activities. Then, categorize each as either a job skill or something outside of work (hobbies/volunteering/community service). Note how these past experiences relate to the job requirements for your ideal position.
Update your resume, cover letter and social media profiles
Update your resume, cover letter and social media profiles. Make sure they are consistent with each other and are up to date. If you have a long gap in employment, you may want to consider highlighting your skills that can't be easily learned at a job (like knowledge of software programs or management experience).
Research the company and position
When searching for a job, it’s important to know what the company does and why you want to work there. You should also research what the job is about, what its core responsibilities are and how it fits into the larger corporate structure.
You should also research the company's values and mission statement. This can help you understand whether or not this is a place where you feel comfortable working.
Prepare examples from your past work experience
When you're seeking a job with a work history gap, it's important to prepare examples of your past work experience that demonstrate both the skills and competencies necessary for the new position.
You should also be prepared to explain what you learned from your previous job and how those skills translate to the new one. They may not translate exactly, but they can still be valuable in a different capacity—and it's important that you are able to clearly articulate this idea when speaking with potential employers during interview processes.
Be prepared to answer tough questions
You may be asked to explain why you were unemployed. If this is the case, take time to prepare for the interview and research your answers beforehand. Think about why industry trends have affected your career trajectory and how you have dealt with them. Understand that employers will ask these questions because they are trying to determine whether or not you’re a good fit for the job at hand—not because they don’t trust you.
If your gap in work history has anything to do with health issues, consider bringing copies of documents from doctors, therapists or other professionals who can attest to your resilience and current stability. This can help demonstrate that despite any challenges life has thrown at you over the last few years, you are ready and willing now more than ever before!
Emphasize why it is the right time to make a change
When you are applying for a job with a gap in your work history, it is important to emphasize why it is the right time for you to make a change. Explain how you have grown and matured as an individual since leaving your last job, and show how this growth will help your new boss and coworkers.
Explain why this particular position interests you—this will help show that you have done research on the company before applying, which can be an asset when looking to fill gaps in work experience on a resume. Also, share any relevant skills or experience that may not be obvious from looking at just one part of your resume—for example, if someone has worked retail jobs but also spent time managing small teams of people at those stores (such as managers), then they could explain that skill set as part of their cover letter or interview responses.
You can still find a job even with a gap on your resume
The good news is, you can still find a job even with a gap on your resume. The bad news is that it's going to take some extra effort on your part. You'll need to be prepared for questions about your gap and able to explain why you had one as well as what you have been doing during the hiatus.
You should also be prepared with an honest and creative way of explaining what you've been up to while looking for employment. If possible, try avoiding phrases like “I was traveling” or “I was volunteering” unless they're true (although they do sound more interesting than “I was sitting around watching Netflix all day every day because I didn't want my friends or family members knowing how bad things were going at work). Instead think about other hobbies that might overlap with what employers are looking for: maybe figure out a way in which sewing could relate back somehow?
You should now be ready to apply for any open positions with confidence, knowing that your experience is more than just the sum of its parts. Remember that there are many ways to build your resume, so if one tactic doesn’t work out perfectly then try another one!