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How to address employment gaps

Posted on February 10th, 2012 Read time: 1 minutes

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 42.4 percent of unemployed job seekers have gaps in their employment history, the Republic reports.

The negative stigma that can accompany long resume gaps may be enough to prevent someone from obtaining a job. However, Jessica Renard, career services director at South University in West Palm Beach, Florida, has some advice on how to create a positive spin.

First, she suggests not lying about why there is a gap when interviewing Honestly is the best policy, and Renard recommends not saying anything negative about a previous employer and quickly moving into a discussion of how skills have remained fresh. Also, disparaging a former employer will ruin an applicant's integrity.

"Even if you think you were treated unfairly, the interview is not a place to discuss it," Renard tells the media outlet.

One way to avoid having the employment gap conversation altogether is to pick up a job as a temporary worker or volunteer while waiting on full-time positions. Both give applicants an opportunity to grow their skills and network. adds that any community involvement, special projects, consulting engagements or continuing education completed during unemployment can be good topics to discuss, since they may not be on the resume itself. 

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