There are many reasons why a person may experience gaps in their employment.
These can include layoffs, ill family, or furthering your education.
The problem then becomes when and how to bring up this gap in your work history.
When deciding whether or not to mention a gap on a resume, consider the following 3 factors:
The general rule of thumb is to only mention gaps if they are very recent or extended over a long period.
If you have already returned to the workforce and are looking for your next job, you can likely avoid including the gap.
Are you writing a resume with little to no work experience at all? Check out our guide on How to Write a Resume with No Experience (with Examples).
You should always try to reserve mention of employment gaps for your resume rather than your cover letter.
A resume cover letter is a supplemental document that introduces the applicant to the employer.
Cover letters typically include information about work history, skills, certifications, and achievements.
They may also describe the applicant’s career goals and why they will make a good addition to the employer’s team.
Bringing up employment gaps or focusing on your periods of unemployment will not do your cover letter many favors.
In fact, this can be a turnoff to employers who are looking for attention-grabbing information that makes them want to read the rest of the resume.
In some cases, there may be little to no way around mentioning the gap in a cover letter depending on the circumstances of the gap.
If you have to mention the gap in your cover letter, try to focus on how you furthered your skills or found your passion during your time away.
You always want to tie the sentiments in your cover letter back to your professional strengths.