You’re interviewing for a job that you want and you know that your career gap will come up in the conversation.
You’re not sure how to explain it and you’re worried it will hurt your chances of getting the job. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. A lot of people have taken career breaks for one reason or another, and many of them are successful professionals. The key is to be prepared and know how to spin your career break in a positive light.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of taking career breaks and how to explain them in an interview. Let’s roll!
What is a career break?
A career break is a time when you took a breather from your career, for whatever reason. It could be a substantially longer period when you traveled, volunteered, or just took some time to relax and refresh.
The benefits of taking career breaks
There are a lot of benefits to taking career breaks. For starters, it gives you a chance to recharge and explore other interests. Career breaks can also be a great opportunity to network and build your professional contacts. By staying connected and keeping your skills sharp, you will be in a better position to re-enter the workforce when you’re ready.
And finally, don’t forget that your time away from work can be seen as a strength rather than a weakness. Employers respect dedication and commitment, but they also understand that everyone needs a break sometimes. So don’t be afraid to talk about your career breaks during an interview—in fact, it could be the thing that sets you apart from the other candidates.
How to frame your career break on your application
Your resume is your first opportunity to make a great impression on a potential employer, and it’s also your chance to explain why you took a break from your career. Here are a few tips for framing your career break in the best possible light:
- Keep your resume concise and focus on the most relevant information.
- Be clear about the reason for your break and how you’ve been preparing for a return to the workforce.
- Emphasize the skills and experiences you gained during your time away from work in your cover letter.
Remember, you want to put your best foot forward, so make sure you take the time to polish up your resume and practice answering common interview questions. By framing your career break in a favorable light, you will be able to show potential employers that you’re ready to take on the challenge of returning to work.
How to talk about your career break in an interview
First of all, be honest. Don’t try to sugarcoat it or make up some story about why you had to take a break. If you’re asked why you were out of the workforce for a while, just tell the interviewer the truth—you took some time off to travel, care for a family member, or do something else.
Next, talk about the skills you developed during your time off. Maybe you learned how to cook, build something from scratch, or speak a foreign language. No matter what it is, be sure to mention it. This shows the interviewer that you weren’t just sitting on the couch watching Netflix for a full year—you were doing something constructive.
Finally, stress the fact that you’re ready to jump back into your career. You might have taken a break, but that doesn’t mean you’ve stopped learning or growing. You’ve still got all the skills and knowledge you need to succeed in today’s workforce, and you’re excited to use them to scale the company to greater heights.
As we come to a close, be comforted knowing that you’re not the only person with career breaks. If you’re applying for a job and feel like your breaks are a liability, don’t worry. There are ways to spin them in your favor as we’ve mentioned earlier. Pen down the benefits they’ve brought you and don’t forget to practice discussing them before your scheduled interview. Best of luck to you!