Many job seekers are frustrated by the job market. People with great work histories have found themselves out of work for extended periods. This prolonged unemployment may be a result of layoffs or companies closing and are not the fault of an employee’s background. But employers are still looking at resumes for employment gaps and often ruling out candidates prematurely. But there are a few ways you can address the gaps in your work history and still and an interview. Here’s how.

Plan Ahead

A hiring manager will always ask what you were while not working. The worst answer you can give is “looking for a job.” Be prepared to talk about what you were doing with that time. Were you volunteering? Working on a personal project? Spending time at home? Going to school? Traveling? It doesn’t matter what answer you give; it just needs to be thoughtful and engaging.

Stay Positive

Not every reason you’re out of work is negative. Stay focused on the positive instead. If you were laid off or fired, talk about the company in a positive light. Let them know that a layoff gave you time to expand your knowledge and experience. If you were terminated, talk about how you learned the lesson from that job to apply to a new opportunity. Even if you had a negative experience with a previous employer, avoid talking poorly about them. It will make the interviewer think you will do the same to them.

Be Honest

However, you feel when you’re answering this question, make sure you maintain the integrity and are completely honest. While you want to stay positive, you also can’t make up information to sound better. Know that honesty and confidence will go a long way to impressing a potential employer and giving you a fair shot at the job.

Consider Temporary Work

If you’re concerned about finding your next job, it might be easier once you’ve established more recent work history. Temporary work is a great resume builder that can provide you with new experience and even a potential foot in the door with a new company. Talk with a recruiter at your local staffing agency to see what kinds of projects are available.

We Can Help You Find that New Job!

Are you looking for a new job after a layoff or long-term unemployment? Contact ProStaff to see what opportunities are available now.