3 Tips to Explain Long Periods of Unemployment


Maybe you were laid off, took some time off to travel, or relocated with your family. Whatever the reason, if you’ve had a gap in your work history, the thought of going into an interview and possibly being asked “Why?” can be gut wrenching.

Here’s our advice for combating the dreaded question:

1. Have your answer scripted and rehearsed
You want to be honest and tell the truth about your reason for unemployment, but at the same time you don’t want to volunteer more information than necessary. With that said, if the interviewer asks you follow up questions after your answer, never be dishonest, the worst mistake you could make is to lie and it come back to bite you. Take your time and be skillful with your words when preparing your answer. You never want to speak illfully of past employers or companies, instead focus on telling them what you learned during your time out of the workforce.

2. Have a great pitch
Showcase yourself and your accomplishments in your interview so to take their mind off the gap in your unemployment. Talk about your strengths, skills, how you could be an asset to the company. Keep your pitch positive.

3. Spin it into a positive
Talk about everything you were able to do during your gap. Show that while you might not have had a full-time gig you continued to work on your career growth. Highlight any part-time, freelance, or volunteer jobs you were able to do. You want to show your interviewer that you were still being productive, and not becoming a couch potato.

By taking the time to develop well thought out statements covering the previously mentioned points, you’ll be able to breeze right on through any questions concerning your gap in employment.

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