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How to explain employment gap – work history gap

Customer question on explaining an employment gap

I’m an administrative assistant with 30 years experience. I have a year gap in my work history where I worked only part time due to the fact that I adopted two very abused puppies that needed a lot of extra attention, were up all hours of the night, etc.

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While I always want to tell the truth to potential employers, I know that my spending a year to raise “problem pups” isn’t a real attention getter.

Any advise on how to explain this gap?

Unless you’re a “dog person” and “get it”, it doesn’t sound professional.

Don’s answer to explaining a gap in employment

When you have a gap in your employment there’s no real reason to hide it.  The best way to handle employment gaps is to be honest.  Just tell prospective employers the real reason.  It generally works best when you tell them that you were at least doing something productive during your time off from work instead of sitting in front of the TV or laying in bed all day.

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Many times people mis a year or more of work because they stayed home to care for a loved one.  Other people just have a hard time finding work, and this is where volunteer work or self study will help you out and fill those time gaps you have.

I see nothing wrong with your decision to leave work for a year to do something you firmly believed in. It doesn’t have to be professional. There is more to life than work. Do something you love. You did something that was good, moral, and that most people would not do. That’s outstanding! I applaud your dedication, determination, and loving care you gave to these pups. There is nothing more noble than helping… whether it be people or animals.

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Tell them the truth and be proud of what you did. Basically, tell them you took a year off work to adopt and help to very abused puppies. Give them the short version of the story unless they ask for details.

That’s just an outstanding display of human kindness!


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by Don Georgevich

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