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I’ve Got Gaps In My Work History. What Do I Do?

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Got gaps in your work history? How do you explain them to potential employers? Career experts J.T. O’Donnell and Dale Dauten answer the following question from a reader…

Dear J.T. and Dale,

How do you handle gaps in your resume? I worked before I had my children, then did jobs that allowed me to be home with them, and even had my own business.

I’m going to college for an accounting degree and look forward to working again, but I’ve gotten looks from interviewers about gaps in work history.

– Cheryl

The first thing you need to do is get in the right mindset, according to Dauten.

“Look at the people you’re going to be competing for jobs with,” said Dauten. “Most of them have very little experience. They would LOVE to have gaps in their work history. They don’t even HAVE a work history!”

Once you’ve done that, then you need to figure out the best way to present your experience to employers. The best way to do that is to connect the dots for them – make it easy for employers to understand WHY you have the gaps and WHY it’s not going to be an issue.

“If you take all of those past jobs that you’ve held and pull out the pieces that involve accounting, you can connect the dots for that employer and show them that this is all part of a plan,” said O’Donnell.

According to O’Donnell, doing this will give employers a lot more confidence that you know what you’re doing, and you’re just being very strategic about it.

So, got gaps in your work history? You want to present a logical progression that makes it clear that all of that experience you have to offer, even if it has gaps, has lead you here for a reason.

Want to ask J.T. & Dale a question? Email your question to [email protected]

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Ariella Coombs Ariella is the Content Strategist and Career Coach for Work It Daily. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a B.A. in journalism. Follow her @AriellaCoombs or find her on Google+.