Throughout your lifetime, you might experience a period of unemployment because of family illness, childcare, schooling or another reason. While extended resume gaps might cause hiring managers to pause, it doesn’t mean you’re not qualified for the job.

Use these tips to deal with a resume gap and impress hiring managers:


Use your cover letter to explain significant gaps in professional experience. Hiring managers will likely notice the gap, so give them a simple and straight forward answer to their question before they meet you. Was your gap due to incarceration? Here are some tips on navigating resume gaps because of incarceration.

Show new skills

What did you learn during your time away from work? Did you take any certification classes, volunteer or attend any conferences? Make sure to include these experiences on your resume. These are important parts of professional development and can illustrate positive character traits such as discipline, persistence, or self-improvement.

Share the why

Share why you’re reentering the workforce. Use your cover letter to explain the positive attributes you gained during your time away and how they’ll help propel you to a successful job.

More than likely, the resume gap you have is much shorter than your overall time worked. Be confident in your experience and skills gained over the years. And as always, keep a positive perspective while talking with hiring managers.