Q. I’ve seen a few resumes where the person explains employment gaps in the experience section. I was told this was not a good idea. Is that still true?
A. I can’t think of a reason why a candidate would speak to employment gaps on the resume itself. If a gap is significant, it should be tactfully addressed in the cover letter. The keyword there is tactfully. For instance, if you were a stay at home parent and are now looking to re-enter the workforce, you might include the following language:
“I have spent several rewarding years raising my family and volunteering within my community. I am now looking to re-focus on my career goals…”
You can see how that quickly addresses the gaps but almost instantly moves the conversation back to a focus on career aspirations. This general approach is effective in many situations.
Having said all that, the best advice I can offer someone who has employment gaps is the same advice I offer to all clients – focus on communicating your impact and providing the reader with clear, quantifiable achievements. If you can do this effectively, even larger gaps become less of a roadblock.