When you’re a job candidate, sometimes there will be gaps of time on your resume that you weren’t employed. Maybe it was planned to take some time for yourself, or perhaps unplanned events happened, and your absence from employment was longer than expected. Many people take work breaks, don’t worry; there are plenty of ways to explain stopping work and getting back into a successful job search! Read on to learn more about how to approach this complex topic gracefully in an interview setting.
How Can You Explain a Long Break Between Jobs?
Be Honest About Breaks
Honesty is always the best policy, and this applies to explaining any breaks in employment. Explain to your interviewer why you took a break from work and what you did during that time. This can be anything from focusing on self-care and developing skills, taking care of family members, or volunteering for a cause close to your heart. Emphasize what you learned during the break and any new skills or qualifications you may have gained.
Describe Your Plans During That Time
If taking a break from work was a planned event, explain to your interviewer what you set out to accomplish during that period. This could include traveling, learning a new language, or taking classes that are related to your area of study. Detail how this time has made you more qualified for the job at hand and how it can contribute to the team.
Highlight Your Skill Development
Explain any online classes or workshops you took during your break from employment and how they have improved your skills. By demonstrating a commitment to continuing your professional development, you can show employers that you are a valuable asset who is always striving to learn more.
Show Your Passion
If volunteering was part of the reason for your break in employment, explain the organizations or events you volunteered with and how they relate to the job you are applying for. This will show employers your passion and dedication to particular causes or ideas that make you a great fit for their team.
Keep It Positive
No matter how long of a break you took from employment, focus on how it has positively impacted your career trajectory. Explain what new skills or qualifications you gained and how they apply to the job. By understanding how this break improved your qualifications, employers will be more likely to understand why you took a break from employment in the first place.
Emphasize What You Learned
Explaining what you learned during your break is essential for showing potential employers the value you bring to the position. Talk about what you learned, how it can help your work performance, and how it has helped shape the person you are today.
To get a better understanding of why you took a break from employment in the first place, provide examples that demonstrate why this was necessary. Whether it was taking care of a loved one or engaging in self-care, explain the reasons why you needed to take some time away from work and how this break contributed to your growth as an individual.
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