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Turn your resume gap into gold!

A resume gap can say more about you than you think, so continue reading to identify how you can exploit the value of each of the varieties of resume gaps. Own it and learn how to be honest about it with the recruiters while being comfortable, we are all human at the end of the day.

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 min read
Turn your resume gap into gold!

Looking for a job can be a stressful enough process to navigate as to worry about even more variables, like explaining a resume gap. Recruiters will probably notice this gap while skimming through your curriculum vitae or address it during the job interview but worry not! Even if they look for the perfect resume, companies understand that being human comes with inconsistencies, pauses, and changes in plans.

Consider too that, if defended well, a resume gap can even turn into an asset that provides you with the opportunity to show more of your personality than with a conventional CV. Rather than dreading the inevitable question about what you did over that period, join us in discovering how to get noticed and transform a potential weakness into a major strength. Maybe it even turns into the differentiating factor that persuades the employer to pick you!

Former red flag

A blank space. Nothing. An unsettling void. That is what we are drawn to think when we put ourselves in the recruiter’s shoes while looking at our resume gap. In a fast-paced world in which professional experience and productivity are highly valued by employers, a career hiatus is not a good sign. Or is it?

Chances are this belief was true in the past, however, the dynamics of the hiring aspect have also shifted with the business sector. Moreover, it would help if you considered that you are not the only one in this situation. Actually, we are in a moment of social change in which these gaps are more accepted, and employers even look for them as a value-adding trait. The new generation of workers comes into a market with new rules. In the past, workers tended to spend most of their career in the same company whereas now, people have less projection in companies either because of their interest or because of the necessities of the enterprise.

Therefore, resume gaps are more common than we think, and maybe even your employer has one in its career! Be mindful of addressing it before they do or at least explain yourself clearly and confidently. Put your foot in the door before they can close it! You don’t want them filling the gap for you as it could be harmless or the sprout of a bad first impression, especially if they assume you are trying to conceal it. Your professional behaviour is just as treasured as your competencies and these periods out of the working loop can be challenging, enriching, or even life-changing. The human element has become that je ne sais quoi that turns into a hire.


Types of gaps: a whole rainbow of possibilities

The first issue to tackle is whether the gap was voluntary or was taken due to specific circumstances. We have segmented them in groups according to the cause, however, there might be more.

  1. A sabbatical is a voluntary break that can be invested in traveling, pursuing personal projects, working on yourself, or volunteering, among others. These are choices motivated by the will to improve as an individual, so we should not be ashamed of the conscious choice that we made to work on ourselves.
  2. Family leave is not unheard of either, although it can be a choice or an obligation to stay away from work because of it. Whether out of necessity or as a voluntary choice, taking care of a loved one proves a huge commitment that can be extrapolated to other areas of one's life.
  3. Medical leave is one of the most unfortunate reasons to stay out of work. No employer should consider it a disadvantage to offer you a position. If this were the case, maybe it would even be wise to reconsider your interest in the company.
  4. Layoffs represent another cause for a resume gap that is out of your control. Restructuring in companies is not the employee's fault, and they usually push them to reinvent themselves and come back to the job market with a lot to offer and a clearer idea of which kind of company they are looking for, leading to time off on some occasions.
  5. Reflecting time out of the office is a choice you might make to have a break from the daily routine and choose what direction you want for yourself. Sometimes we can get caught in the whirlwind of the day-by-day work and need a reset. This is proof of self-awareness and ambition, as you want to reflect on the career path you are in and where you want to arrive to.
  6. Studying or working on personal projects are gaps leading to improving yourself and your performance, either in your current field or in a new one. Maybe you want to retrain yourself not to be obsolete, to pursue an idea you never had the time to develop, to change career paths or any other reason that led you back to the books.


Turn it into gold

Every single one of the scenarios we have discussed has the potential to shine and turn into an advantage during an interview. Make sure to mine the inherent value of your unique experience and help them understand that those are also transferable skills. Turn that bump in the road into a powerful trampoline or that experience into the golden ticket to capture your potential employer’s attention while highlighting your values.

  • The traveller

Did you travel the world for a few months? Great! You are probably someone who has incredible adaptability and is likely a fast thinker when unexpected problems arise.

  • The dream chaser

Did you work on a personal project? Studied something new or dived deeper into your field? This showcases your determination and self-confidence, let alone an exceptional level of discipline and ambition. Being willing to learn and try new things is such a welcomed attitude. It is a testament to your drive to manage yourself effectively in order to achieve goals, an admirable trait in any professional.

  • The protector

Were you out on family leave? Taking time off for family is an illustration of your selflessness and commitment to your moral compass. You will not doubt in devoting time to your loved ones, which reveals qualities like patience and empathy, extraordinary for any position.

  • The resilient

If your hiatus resulted from medical reasons, you could extract from it resilience, psychological strength, and the capacity to keep a positive mindset in the face of adversity. These attributes are the best example of your ability to overcome challenging situations.

  • The survivor

Experiencing a lay-off is a journey marked by change, frustration and a subsequent process of regrouping and getting back on your feet. Emphasize the planning and resilience needed to face those new challenges, besides the fortitude to keep your head cool during such a substantial change. It is easier to go on when nothing is wrong, so knowing how to overcome obstacles is admirable.

  • The seeker

The fact that you decide to stop for learning more about yourself and gaining insight into your personal life or your career goals will speak wonders about your decision-making process. You are patient and know that good results need time, so increasing the pace is not always the best answer. Count prioritizing among your skills and recruiters will definitely be interested in it.


Back to basics: honesty and confidence

Once you have identified, analysed, and found the positive aspects of your resume gap, you are ready to handle it with confidence.

While some experts recommend including it on your CV resume to provide clarity to those who scan through it, there are different strategies you can employ. Including it in the experience section is not common, but an alternative is to dedicate a separate section to share additional information about you.

Acknowledging the gap somewhere in your CV is a good idea following the new tendency of recruiters of looking for aspects that stand out in candidates. What some would prefer to conceal is something you can put out there, with pride even, as a facet you want to show. The extent of this approach is rapidly reaching platforms such as LinkedIn, something you can see in the possibility of adding a resume gap in your job history. Here you can clarify in a concise way what you did during that period. If one of the biggest work-related social media platforms is granting it a spot, it means it is a growing trend that has arrived to stay.

After leaving your passive presentation ready, it is time to face the active one. The interview is the real deal. Embrace this opportunity to discuss it in depth, and we advise you not to hide this gap but to explain it to the extent it might be relevant for your employer. Choose what details are important and which ones are more personal while reframing your gap, so you are comfortable enough discussing it. Be honest and show confidence while doing it: there is nothing to be ashamed of!


Everyone has a unique and ever-evolving path, and this is a fact employers are no strangers to. Own your story and don’t be afraid of judgment due to a period of inactivity. Just because you were not dedicating time to a formal job doesn’t mean you were not gaining key skills that could prove essential in a new role.

Expertise and talent are much more than a linear career path. Find the company that will value you for yourself, your experiences, and your potential. Seek the one who recognizes that a wide array of backgrounds comes with a broader perspective, which will contribute to a richer work environment. At Ekkiden we would be glad to help you reincorporate after a career break so feel free to browse our job offers page and find out if we would be a good fit for you.