Executives in Transition

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Breaks in your resume? A few sample answers.

Do you have gaps on your resume? Here’s help explaining those gaps.

This is the final article in our series about handling breaks in your resume.  Today we’re going to focus on good answers when you’ve had a long break between positions.

If you missed the earlier articles in this series check out the News tab: Volunteer for an Association,  Work for friends or colleagues, Take Classes.

Why this 6-month gap?

First off, it’s never a good idea to lie. Be honest. Hiring managers are people too and they know that sometimes life gets in the way of jobs.

Illness

Returning to work after an illness can be challenging. It’s best to keep your answer as simple as possible and avoid too many details.

If you’ve been ill, but are ready to go back to work, try handling it something like this:
“I had a health scare last year, and I’m happy to say that all is well and I’m ready to get back to work. I’m excited to be talking with you today.”

Then, ask them a question about the position like, “What would you say is the most important quality of the person who does this job?

Get the hiring manager talking about the position so that you can emphasize your qualifications.
If you’ve been helping a family member, use a similar approach

“My brother had a health scare last year, and I’m happy to say that all is well and I’m ready to get back to work. I’m excited to be talking with you today.”  Keep it brief and turn the conversation back to them.

Long job search

Focus on the approaches from the earlier parts of this series.

Avoid negativity.

Try something like this: “I decided to take a break after working for 15 years without a stop. Now I’m refreshed and ready to jump back in, and I’m excited to be talking to you…”

Answer briefly, positively and change the subject back to them and the task at hand – your qualifications for the position.

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