Most people face this situation in their career. Indeed, it’s an important factor to consider.
Rather than just filling the gaps on resume, one should really focus on how to deal with it in job interviews because that is where the challenge begins, and it can make or break the deal.
So, this article is more inclined towards real time scenarios and by the end of this post, you will figure out a way to tackle the situations when you go for an interview.
The best way to deal with employment gaps in interviews is as follows.
Don’t forget that you are exploring a long-term career so be careful and responsible.
To deal with employment gaps in interviews, let us see the reasons for employment gaps:
There are good chances that you might fall under categories below:
- A Novice. A person who has not done anything yet and completely new to a particular field AKA Fresher.
- Quantum jumps (one field to another): Example, you have been working in customer service field for some time. Later, you switched to IT field because of your passion over the time.
- Flip (Businessman to Employee): Let us say that you are a businessman for some period but later you shut it down due to loss. Therefore, you must leave everything and start a career in any field which might be completely new for you.
We will discuss how to deal with the situations at each stage. First let us talk about some reality in the market.
What you need to understand is covering up the employment gaps in resume just for the sake of it will not help you to succeed in the long run. Maybe you can experiment and succeed but it is temporary. You may also get into trouble down the lane.
You are just stopping yourself from growing in the future. You may look good on the paper but upfront you will face challenges.
Especially when you discover great opportunities, you must prove your talent. You might come across situations where everybody will be noticing your real talent i.e. the actual you. Since you have never been in that zone, it’s a big red flag for you and might end up loosing miserably. What you really bring on to the table will move the needle.
People will like you for what you are! This comes from being honest and having Authenticity. There is no shortcut for success.
For all three categories, one thing is common and important to cross this bridge.
Learn the skill. Skill gives hands on experience, real-time problem-solving & thinking abilities, and skill gives confidence. Confidence is the Key!
- A Novice
Presentation matters! Being honest with the interviewer and explaining about your past, present situations and let him/her know that the gaps were for some peculiar reasons. Explain what made you to apply for the job at this point.
Since you learned a skill, prove them that now you are equipped with everything that is required for the job. Show your certifications & courses.
Most importantly, let the interviewer know that you are willing to start career as a fresher & flexible for changes. Once you are confident and able to prove them that you are a good fit for the requirement there should be no issues.
On another note, apply for jobs in start-ups because start-ups are great places for freshers. They don’t bother about how much experience you carry. What really matters to them is the skill, willingness to learn, and adoptability to a culture. They have always opened the doors for fresh and new talent. They need people who are full of commitment.
Once you bag some experience from small and medium enterprises, you can focus on career growth and target big companies.
Everything depends on how you communicate. Develop your communication skills. Attend the interviews regularly. There is always a room for improvement.
2.Quantum Jump – One Field to Another
It is quite a challenging task to switch from one field to another because you must start everything from scratch. Everything is completely new.
Embrace new skills and knowledge.
As usual once you learnt the skill that is required for the job, you must apply it by practicing regularly. Be consistent.
Ex: If you choose to be a software developer, develop your own project. Find some local clients and try to solve their problems. Get projects from them. You can develop a website for your friend’s business, neighbours or closest resources who may be looking for some help in this regard.
Work on private projects, may be do some freelancing work. There are lot of platforms available where you get short term gigs.
You can add them all in resume, share links and portfolios with the interviewer and tell them that you have got hands on practice and experience while handling those private projects.
If you are genuine and providing the proofs, your experience will be considered though you did not work for any company. It depends on the way you negotiate your skills.
There are so many people in the market who does this. They started on their own and positioned themselves in the market and finally landed in their dream jobs. If they can do it, you can do it. Stand out from the crowd.
3.Flip – Businessman to Employee
If you are a businessman in the past, the kind of a job which you choose upfront really matters.
It is recommended to choose a job which is related to your previous business because you might already have relevant experience and got lots of expertise from the past.
It’s a great opportunity to tell client that you have indulged in multiple responsibilities like brand building, market research, administration, accounts management, marketing etc.
Show them the case studies. Any client would love to hire experienced consultants because of various reasons. Experienced candidate has multiple skills, quick learner, flexible to the changes, adoptable to the new culture and they execute well and deliver results. Most importantly experience add value to any new venture.
It is an added advantage of choosing a relevant field.
If you want to choose something different, follow both (category 1 & 2).
So, the best way to deal with employment gaps in interviews is to learn the skills, practicing, embrace the new change, being true to yourself.
Respect the work and work will take care of you.
We took a few possible examples to make this article understandable to everyone who face this situation. We believe any candidate who wants to deal with employment gaps can relate to these three categories and sort out the problem. Feel free to share your opinions.