How to Explain a Two Year Gap on a Resume

As the year winds down and we find ourselves heading into 2013 before we know it, there may be some holes in that valuable resume. As in out of work from 2011 to 2012 and now, well…

In fact, this was addressed in today’s New York Post. As for the good news? You’re not alone but when it comes to lengthy gaps such as two years or longer, it’s time to get a quick fix for temporary employment. Pronto! 

Gregory Giangrande, chief HR officer at Time, Inc., explains in the piece, “Lengthy periods of unemployment are not uncommon these past few years, so employers are not necessarily holding them against applicants. But two years is stretching the norm, particularly if you haven’t worked in any capacity, even part time, in the interim.”

First off, it’s important to tell the truth even if it doesn’t look good. Seriously. Do not lie and certainly don’t stretch your employment dates.

Secondly, create talking points so you can explain the gap during a phone and office interview such as a volunteer job or training class. During the first step of the interview process, most likely a phone screen by the recruiter, you’ll need to succinctly demonstrate you haven’t exactly been a couch potato and instead, showcase how you’ve been productive during the down time.

In the piece, Giangrande advises finding a temp job to put on the CV as soon as possible so the most recent item viewed on the resume at the top will be current employment.