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Reasons For Career Breaks And How To Explain Them

by Nathan Zachary
How to Create an Outstanding Resume

Career Breaks or Employment Gaps are periods during which the job seeker was unemployed. This may be due to a voluntary decision or forces outside the control of the job seeker. Many employers hesitate to employ candidates with employment gaps as they tend to assume the worst when they observe it in resumes. In reality, there are numerous reasons why a person may take career breaks. Though explaining these gaps can be difficult, it is not impossible. The most common reasons for employment gaps are:

Personal Reasons For Career Break

1. Illness

Medical fitness is important to perform any job. If a person has not been able to get or hold a job due to medical reasons, they are not to be blamed. As long as they can prove that they are fit at present, they won’t have trouble getting hired.

2. Allocating time to focus on family and children

Family emergencies crop up now and then. Some are more serious than others and may require to be tackled differently. They may even warrant taking time off to be for the family.

3. Taking up different courses to build skill level

In a world that is increasingly tech-savvy, a person has to update their skills to remain relevant. Taking a break to learn new skills or update old skills is a better alternative to becoming complacent.

4. Trying to find the Right Career

Not everybody knows what field they want to work in right at the start. At times, even seasoned veterans have a change of heart and decide to explore new careers. Finding the right career is important as one spends most of their hours doing the tasks required to be done to advance in that career. How will that be possible without the necessary motivation?

Professional Reasons  For Career Break

1. Fired from the previous job

Not everyone is fired due to incompetence. There is more to the story. Maybe the job seekers’ work didn’t meet the expectations of their employer even though they did their best. The ideas of the former employer may not have matched that of the job seeker. Whatever it may be, being clear about the fact that the job seeker learned from the experience rather than dismissing the former employee, maximizes the chances of being hired.

2. Individual personality didn’t match the organizational personality

There are cases where the employee’s personality does not match or is not compatible with that of the organization. This is no one’s fault. The employee may perform impeccably but may have a casual attitude whereas the organization’s culture may foster a formal and sincere atmosphere. The resultant clash will not be conducive and so it is better for the employee to find an organization that best fits his/her personality. 

3. A Stint as a Freelancer

Freelancing is highly profitable with time and effort and many individuals tend to see whether freelancing is right for them. It works out for a few while others may decide to jump back into working for organizations. Explaining one’s curiosity as to freelancing and the lessons learned from it usually dispels any doubts the hirer may be having.

Let’s take a look at how to explain the reasoning behind the career breaks.

Never Lie!

No matter how bad it may feel to bear your soul to a potential employer, never resort to lying. Be honest as possible but do not make it seem like you are jumping at the first chance to get a job. Gaps in employment are not rare as they seem and good managers realize that. Do not be afraid of what their reaction might be.

Explain Any Gaps Or Draw Attention Away From Them Using The Resume

Rather than leaving out the reason for career breaks, give a simple but honest explanation but do not provide too much detail. Potential employers understand the need for time off. Who knows? They may have their own career breaks! Also, you can try to shift the focus away from the gaps to your skill set. 

Hiding the fact that there were periods during which one was unemployed only creates more problems and may result in trust issues. To build a resume that lets you focus on your skill set, you can also hire a professional resume or CV Writing Service India.

Show How The Time-Off Was Used To Improve Skills

According to the providers of professional resume writing Service in India, employment gaps are rarely filled with idleness. You can show what has been achieved during that specific period.

The courses one did, the training one undergoes, or an attempt at freelancing are all a testament to how productively the time-off was used. No employer would hesitate to hire job seekers who update themselves according to the growing needs of the field.

Practice Explaining The Employment Gaps

There is no way any interviewer would let employment gaps slide without an explanation. So, it is better to be prepared to answer that question. Being confident about your explanation convinces the employers to give you a chance. Confidence comes with practice. Stuttering or searching for words to explain your predicament is never a good sign.

Not To Speak Ill About Former Workplaces

Speaking ill about your former employees or workplaces reflects poorly on a person’s character. It doesn’t matter whether their allegations are true or not. Instead focusing on what they did right and how the organization will gain a dedicated employee if they are hired, will be to their benefit.


Career breaks are common and won’t prove to be a hindrance to being hired as long as there is a reasonable explanation. Be open, honest, and confident while explaining the reason to the hirer. Taking a break to find the right job or organization is not a crime. However, if you hire a good CV or resume writing Service in India, you can show off your resume with career breaks on a positive side.

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