I Quit! How to Explain THAT Employment Gap on a Resume!

John quit his last job and that left a big employment gap on his resume — right near the top of page one where it can't be missed! Should he try to explain his unemployment on his resume? If so, how?

Let's let John tell his story. Then I'll tell you what I think he should do.

I Quit My Last Job

Susan,
I recently quit a job because of a health issue that was hard for me to handle. At the time I didn't know what the problem was and I just stormed out and never came back. After some tests with my doctor, we found out that I had a health problem that caused my outburst and sudden walk-out at work.

After recovering from the health problem for a year and a half, I'm trying to find a job again. But I don't know what to put on my resume concerning:

  1. What should I say when asked why I left that job?
  2. What do I say about what I've been doing for the past year and a half?

Thanks for your help!
- John

How to Handle an Employment Gap on a Resume

Dear John,
I'm sorry you had such an awful experience and I'm glad you've recovered from it. Now let's talk about your two resume questions:

1. What should I say when asked why I left that job?
You don't have to say anything on your resume about why you left your last job. You may need to address it on your job application, where you can briefly say, "health-related issue, now resolved."

2. What do I say about what I've been doing for the past year and a half?
What have you been doing for the last one and a half years while you were recovering? Is there anything related to your career that you did to keep abreast with your profession? Or, did you do any volunteer work that's related to your job objective? If so, put that down as your most recent "job title" on your resume. That will show the employer that you're up on things in your field and can hit the road running if he hires you.

If you don't have a relevant "job title" to list for that span of unemployment, is there something you can put on your resume that fills in the unemployed time without referring to your illness? For example, if you're a parent, you might list "Full-time parent."

For a list of ways to handle an employment gap on a resume, check out:

Best of luck with your job search!