Are you wrestling with whether to hide those employment gaps on your resume? You might be wondering how to address these without setting off alarm bells for potential employers. First off, employment gaps are more common than you might think. Whether due to personal reasons, health issues, layoffs, or pursuing further education, it’s a scenario many encounter in their careers.

Like yourself, many job seekers wonder if it’s better to omit these gaps entirely to present a smoother career path. However, the straightforward answer is No. Leaving employment gaps off your resume is not better.

Here’s why honesty is the best policy and how to effectively address these gaps.

The Importance of Transparency

Transparency about your employment history is crucial. Omitting employment gaps can lead to questions or concerns from potential employers, possibly affecting your credibility. Being honest about gaps shows integrity and allows you to frame your narrative positively.

Strategies for Addressing Employment Gaps

Brief Explanations: Offer a concise reason for the gap in a positive or neutral tone. There’s no need for extensive details on your resume.

Emphasize Growth and Learning: If you used the time off to learn new skills, volunteer, or pursue personal projects, highlight these experiences. They can demonstrate your initiative and commitment to personal and professional development.

Functional Resume Layout: Consider adopting a functional resume layout that highlights your skills and accomplishments over a chronological order. This approach can play down the importance of gaps in employment.

Prepare for the Interview: Be ready to discuss your employment gap in more detail during interviews, framing it as a period of growth or transition that has prepared you well for the next step in your career.

Leaving employment gaps off your resume is not advisable. Instead, address them openly but strategically, using them to showcase your resilience, adaptability, and the proactive steps you’ve taken toward personal and professional development. Doing so can turn potential concerns into opportunities to demonstrate your value as a candidate.

Remember, employment gaps are common, and many employers understand that life happens. The key is to address these gaps directly while ensuring your resume and cover letter focus on your strengths, skills, and readiness for the new role.

Message Dan Simmons on LinkedIn or drop him an email at dan@continentalsearch for more tips on making your job application stand out. Good luck with job hunting!

About the Author

Dan Simmons founded Continental Search in 1996 but focused exclusively on animal nutrition recruiting in 2002. He has won over 20 awards from Top Echelon Network, America’s leading placement network, including Placer of the Year in 2009 and the prestigious Million Dollar Award.

Dan is currently focused on recruiting top talents such as nutritionists, technical support professionals, sales managers, and executive-level positions, including technical directors and VP of sales and marketing. For the latest job opportunities, you may connect with Dan on LinkedIn or email him at