1. Careers
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

How to Explain an Employment Gap


Explain an Employment Gap
Jose Luis Pelaez/Iconica/Getty Images

When you have recent gaps in your resume, whether from being laid-off and out of work, taking time out from the workplace to spend with your family, traveling, going back to school, or for any reason, your cover letter gives you an opportunity to explain an employment gap.

When you address the gap in your cover letter, the hiring manager will be aware that there's an explanation for you being out of the workforce. If you did volunteer work or consulting you can mention it. However, you don't need to provide a lengthy explanation - be brief and to the point.

When to Mention an Employment Gap

Do keep in mind, that given the job market, there are many resumes with gaps, so deciding whether to reference the employment gap is optional.

If the gap was in the past, you don't need to mention it. In fact, you don't need to include all your experience on your resume, especially if you have been in the workforce for years. It's acceptable to limit the years of experience you include on your resume to fifteen years when seeking a managerial or professional position and ten years when looking for other positions.

How to Explain an Employment Gap
Many of us take time off, for one reason or another, from working. Sometimes, it's by choice. In other cases, it can take time to find a new job. What the best way to explain an employment gap on your resume? It depends on the situation and what you did while you weren't employed.

Write a Custom Cover Letter
It can be time consuming to write a custom cover letter for each job you apply for, but it's important to take the time and effort to show the company why you are a good match - even when applying by email.

Cover Letter Tips
More Cover letter writing tips and suggestions for writing cover letters to send with your resume, including cover letter samples and examples.

Cover Letter Examples
When applying for a job a cover letter should be sent or posted with your resume. If you are not sure what to write, review these cover letter samples.

Read More: Interview Question: Explain the Gap in Your Employment History | How to Explain the Gap on Your Resume

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.