Do You Have a Gap in Your Work History?

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There’s just no getting around it – if you have employment gaps, they will come up during the interview process. In the mind of a hiring manager, they are a red flag that could mean you won’t keep the job long if hired. It’s your responsibility to show them your employment gaps aren’t a negative thing. In fact, if you can get ahead of the curve and address them before they become an issue, you can show how your time off has actually made you a better employee.

Finding Your Soft Skills

Some skills, like technical industry knowledge, require actual work experience to develop. But soft skills, or personal qualities, can be developed no matter what you are doing with your time. Before your interview, consider what you did during your time of unemployment. What soft skills did you need to use? Here are some examples of soft skills you might be able to highlight:

  • creativity
  • time management
  • multitasking
  • adaptability
  • emotional regulation
  • mentoring/training ability

Let’s say you are looking for work after a year of caring for a sick family member. You could talk to the interviewer about how you had to manage a complex schedule of doctor’s appointments and medications. That level of organization and time management is not natural for everyone, and is an admirable soft skill.

Highlight Educational Experiences

Even if you weren’t working, you were (hopefully!) keeping up-to-date on your industry’s standards and news. In the interview, highlight how you educated yourself and developed your technical skills. You don’t need to have taken formal classes or attended seminars. Maybe there are industry blogs or magazines you subscribe to. Or you read the newest best sellers related to your field. Look for specific examples of things you learned during your employment gap. Highlight those examples when you talk about your time away from work.

The point is, don’t let the term unemployment define you. Focus the interview on what you did, not what you did not do, during that time.

Interviewing with an Employment Specialist at Aventure is low stress and high reward. Let us fit you with the best Iowa and Nebraska job opportunities, no matter what your work history looks like. It all starts when you fill out an online application.

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