In this article, I will show how you can explain your resume gap. Imagine: you have a 10+ year run at a top Wall Street shop and then get the pink slip. You try to get a full-time position, but your seniority is an issue. So, you take a “gap” job, something to pay the bills.
How do you explain your resume gap on paper and in interviews?
My Client’s Challenge
My client had a deep credit background with a top shop. For 10+ years she rotated around various divisions including trading, corporate banking, and others. She was a well-respected professional who didn’t just say “no” but “maybe.”
Credit professionals who propose solutions are a banker’s best friend.
Then she was let go prior to COVID. I met her in the middle of her gap job which had nothing to do with credit or financial services. Her goal was to get back in the saddle, back to the high compensation and security of a large Wall Street shop. To do so, we had to explain her resume gap.
However, she was paid very well. As you climb the hierarchy, fewer jobs present themselves.
How do you explain a resume gap that has nothing to do with your career goals? What do you do when someone gives you that “you couldn’t get a job in a hot market” look? How can your resume deter that look?
My Client’s Solution
We created a resume that documented her gap job in an authentic way. Importantly, we expressed the bullet points in terms of successes and tangible outcomes. We viewed her gap job as we would any other financial services job.
She had successes and transferable skills. Of course, she had not realized this fact. When you are emotional about a break, you tend not to think clearly. I cut through the insecurity and uncovered some interesting accomplishments.
She made it back, albeit after some time and a lot of determination. It’s all in the wording.
For another gap story, check out “Gap Story.”
The best way to explain your gap is to have the right person frame it for you.