How to deal with an employment gap

Unsure how to address an employment gap? In this article we'll explore the best way to address it on your CV, LinkedIn profile and in an interview.

In today’s dynamic job market, it’s not uncommon for professionals to encounter gaps in their employment history. Whether due to personal reasons, career transitions, or unforeseen circumstances, such gaps can leave individuals feeling uncertain about how to present themselves to prospective employers. However, by adopting a proactive approach and leveraging available resources, such as your CV and LinkedIn profile, you can transform a gap in your employment into an opportunity for growth and showcase your value to potential employers.

Here are some of our top tips on the best way to approach an employment gap.

Self-reflection and skill enhancement

The first step when faced with an employment gap is self-reflection. Use this time to assess your career goals, interests, and strengths. Identify areas where you would like to develop new skills or enhance existing ones. Engage in professional development activities such as online courses, certifications, or workshops to keep your knowledge up-to-date and demonstrate your commitment to personal growth. This will not only bridge the gap in your CV but also demonstrate your proactive attitude and dedication to self-improvement.

Networking and building connections

Networking is a powerful tool for finding new opportunities and getting your foot in the door. Attend industry events, conferences, and seminars to expand your professional network. Connect with peers, industry experts, and potential employers both online and offline. LinkedIn offers a valuable platform for building connections and showcasing your expertise. Actively engage with relevant industry groups, share insightful content, and participate in discussions to establish yourself as a thought leader in your field.

Optimise your CV

When addressing an employment gap in your CV, honesty and transparency are key. Be upfront about the gap without going into unnecessary detail. Use a functional CV format that highlights your skills and achievements rather than focusing solely on the chronology of your work experience. Emphasise any relevant activities, such as freelance projects, volunteer work, or professional development courses, to demonstrate your continued engagement and growth during the gap. Tailor your CV to match the requirements of each job application, highlighting how your skills and experiences align with the role.

Enhancing your LinkedIn

LinkedIn is an invaluable platform for professional networking and job hunting. Optimise your profile to present yourself in the best possible light. Update your headline, summary, and experience sections to reflect your current career goals and achievements. Leverage the platform’s features, such as recommendations and endorsements, to showcase your skills and expertise, and don’t forget to add all your key achievements too. You can check out one of the other articles on how to build your credibility on LinkedIn HERE.

Engage with relevant content, join industry groups, and contribute to discussions to increase your visibility and attract potential employers. Consider sharing any professional articles or projects you have worked on to further highlight your skills and knowledge.

Interview with confidence

When addressing an employment gap in an interview, it is important to be honest, concise, and focused. Explain the reason for the gap in a positive and professional manner, highlighting any productive activities or experiences you gained during that time.

Express your enthusiasm and readiness to return to work, demonstrating your motivation and dedication to making a valuable contribution to the position. By preparing in advance and practicing your response, you can confidently address an employment gap and present yourself as a qualified candidate.

Take a proactive approach

An employment gap can be transformed into a positive opportunity by taking a proactive approach. Utilise this time to enhance your skills, engage in volunteer work or freelancing projects, and expand your professional network. Optimise your CV and LinkedIn profile to effectively communicate your value to potential employers. Remember, employers appreciate candidates who show resilience, adaptability, and a commitment to personal and professional growth. By adopting these strategies, you can confidently navigate an employment gap and position yourself for success in your job search.