About the author

Darren Cronian, the author of this guide, has spent nine years securing remote jobs and building a successful freelancing business. His goal is to help people find remote work. Read more >
Last Updated: 12 May 2024

Embarking on a remote job hunt can feel daunting, especially when your resume shows a gap in employment. Feeling anxious about how potential employers perceive this gap is normal.

However, crafting a compelling cover letter can transform a perceived weakness into a showcase of resilience, adaptability, and growth.

This guide aims to help you, a remote job seeker, write a persuasive cover letter for a job with a gap in employment, turning your career break into an asset rather than a setback.

Write a Cover Letter for Job with a Gap in Employment
What You Will Learn

In the following sections, we will explore how to openly and effectively address employment gaps in your cover letter.

We’ll provide practical tips and examples that help you craft a narrative that resonates with hiring managers, highlighting your strengths and readiness to re-enter the workforce.

By the end of this guide, you’ll know how to cover these gaps and how to spin them into compelling reasons for a company to hire you. Ready to transform your job application into a ticket to your next big opportunity?

Crafting Your Cover Letter: A Step-by-Step Guide
Acknowledge the Gap Directly

One of the key strategies in writing a cover letter for a job with a gap in employment is transparency. Begin by directly addressing the gap in your employment history in a straightforward yet positive manner.

You’re not excusing the gap but rather explaining it. Did you take time off to care for a family member, pursue further education, or volunteer? Briefly mention the reason without dwelling too much on the specifics.

Highlight the Positives

Every experience, whether it directly relates to your career or not, offers new skills and insights. Did your time away from the workforce help you gain new skills that could benefit your prospective employer?

Perhaps you took an online course or developed soft skills like time management or crisis resolution that are invaluable in any job.

Make a clear connection between your activities during the gap and the job you are applying for.

Showcase Your Continued Relevance

Employers want to know you’ve stayed connected with industry trends despite your break. Mention any relevant workshops, courses, or freelancing gigs you undertook. Highlight how these efforts have kept your skills sharp and your industry knowledge current.

You are addressing the gap and demonstrating your initiative and commitment to your professional development.

Tailor Your Letter

Customize your cover letter for each job application. Research the company and position you are applying for, and align your letter to show how your unique experiences during your employment gap make you an ideal fit for their team.

Use the job description as a guide to match your qualifications with their requirements.

Write with Confidence

The tone of your cover letter can make a significant difference. Write assertively and focus on your strengths. Your goal is to convince the reader that your unique experiences and the perspective you’ve gained during your employment gap add value to your profile as a candidate.

Offering More Than Just Answers

While addressing a gap in your employment history in a cover letter for a job with a gap in employment might initially seem like a hurdle, it’s also an opportunity to demonstrate your growth and resilience.

Employers appreciate candidates who can turn challenges into personal and professional development opportunities.

Focus on Professional Development

Even if you weren’t working, you might have engaged in activities that helped you grow professionally.

Detail any professional development courses, certifications, workshops, or readings related to your field that you pursued during your time off, which show potential employers that you are committed to staying updated and enhancing your skills, regardless of your employment status.

Emphasize Volunteer Work

Highlight any volunteering you did during your employment gap, especially in a capacity relevant to your field or one that helped develop transferrable skills.

Volunteering demonstrates your initiative and commitment to community contributions and can also be a rich source of leadership and project management experiences.

Talk About Freelancing or Consulting

If you did any freelancing or consulting work during your employment gap, mention this in your cover letter. This kind of work shows you’ve been actively engaged in your industry and have continued applying your skills.

It also illustrates your entrepreneurial spirit and ability to self-manage, which are highly valued qualities in many fields.

Be Positive and Forward-Looking

Throughout your cover letter, maintain a positive and forward-looking tone. Focus on what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown rather than the gap itself — express enthusiasm about what you want to accomplish in your next role.

By integrating these strategies into your cover letter, you can address your employment gap to reflect your strength, adaptiveness, and readiness to contribute meaningfully in your new role.

An Actionable Question to Consider

After finishing your cover letter, ask yourself: “How does my cover letter reflect the narrative of someone who grows and adapts, no matter the circumstances?” This reflection isn’t just about ensuring you’ve covered the gap effectively; it’s about crafting a story that positions you as the best candidate for the job.

How will you use your unique journey to make a lasting impression on your future employer?

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