How to Turn Work Gaps in an Interview into a Positive Aspect

July 8th, 2014

Many candidates have a hard time applying for jobs when there is a clear work gap in their employment history. Work gaps don’t have to be a negative factor when you are in pursuit of employment. In fact, you can levy your work gaps to speak positively about the time in an interview. One good way to frame your work gap is to explain it from a place of personal growth:


If you were out of work for a while because you were traveling, tell your interviewer. You can talk about the skills you learned while traveling, or detail the different cultures you visited on your trip. Taking some time off for some worldly personal growth is an admirable trait, and your interviewer should be able to see that you are now ready to settle down with full-time employment.


If you have a work gap because you were working on your own personal venture, that shows you have initiative and drive. It also shows your interviewer you weren’t just being lazy. Being self-employed takes a lot of time and commitment, and your interviewer should be able to recognize that.

Relaxation/Recovery from an Illness

If your work gap was due to recovery from an illness or personal relaxation due to work overload, make sure your interviewer knows. Your interviewer will appreciate that self-care is one of your highest priorities and will assume you are healthy and able to work if you are currently interviewing for jobs.

Another great way to frame your work gap is to explain it from a perspective of career growth or skill building:


Even if you weren’t being paid, volunteering is a great way to explain a large work gap. If you were volunteering in a field related to your career, elaborate on your experience because it will show that you are extremely passionate about the industry and your future.

Learning New Skills Applicable to Job 

Jobs are always changing, so it’s sometimes necessary to learn new skills or computer programs in order to be better at the job you currently do. For example, if you took some time off to learn a new computer program, the work gap shows you are dedicated to being the best you can be at your job.

If you do have a work gap within your employment history, it’s extremely important to explain it to your future employer so they don’t make any misconceptions about you as a person. If you need help finding jobs to interview for with a work gap in your employment history, contact Olympic Staffing. We will match you up with an employer who will embrace your work gap and will be able to see your working potential.




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