Please upgrade your web browser

These pages are built with modern web browsers in mind, and are not optimized for Internet Explorer 8 or below. Please try using another web browser, such as Internet Explorer 9, Internet Explorer 10, Internet Explorer 11, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Apple Safari.

Best method to explain a medical gap in employment


Kenneth Boggus Clearwater, FL

Took time away from career to address a family medical situation in another state. What is the best practice/method to reflect the gap in employment during this time on a resume and during an interview?

31 October 2018 8 replies Interviews



Tom Adam El Segundo, CA

I'll dovetail off what others have said, especially having faced the same situation myself. When asked about it, either in an initial phone screen or a full-scale interview, simply point out that a family member's health situation required extended attention, and at the time you were in the best position to take on that responsibility. If the situation has now been resolved, you make mention of that, and that you're now ready to return full-time to the work force.

Any company truly worth working for will appreciate the fact that you put family first.

15 November 2018 Helpful answer


Tim Feemster Dallas, TX

I would prominently display the "job" just like any other, because it is. Outline the nature of the support and reasoning behind it. If a company pushes back on such a personal element in your past, you probably don't want to work there anyway.

31 October 2018 Helpful answer


Robert Brisolari Arlington, VA

I would be totally direct and honest. Caring for a sick family member is admirable and demonstrates a real sense of loyalty. If a potential employer doesn't recognize that, they're probably not worth your time.


Monica Mondloch Arlington, VA

I would like to second Tim's answer. You had a job, a full-time job, as a caregiver. The resume doesn't ask for your compensation. List it as a position, with the dates, and explain it honestly.


Kent Watson Monticello, FL

Most companies that are military friendly would be more empathy aligned. Quantify what you do as a person best equipped to come to their rescue because of your unique skills developed in the military. Selfless-service is a value that is admired by most. Reaching out to help someone in need is a prime example of what good leadership is and does. If you did other volunteer work then this is in-kind business, and did you help non-profit organizations during this time? You helped to meet needs that nobody else had the capability to do. You stepped up when someone needed your help the most (this is what real heroes do). You gave of your time, resources and talents to demonstrated that you truly are a servant-leader! CW4 Kent T. Watson, USA, Retired, over 34 years U.S. Army.


Shelly Wilt Tampa, FL

I agree with Tim on this. Highlight the responsibilities you had while supporting the family member. Rather you helped with accounting and bill paying, to physically offering support it was work and can be described as such.


Anqi Zhao Hakalau, HI

Do you have volunteer experiences during that period that can fill the gap?


Susana Moraga Hayward, CA

A resume is a very personal marketing tool to an employer.
You need to decide how to best present the transferable skills to each employer.
You may list it as a position as Tim mentioned or not, you truly need to understand the employers needs and how to best present your skills.
The same for the interview, gaps are not seen as negative, what you say about them or how you present them is what is important.

Your Answer

Please log in to answer this question.

Sign Up

You can join as either a Veteran or an Advisor.

An Advisor already has a career, with or without military experience, and is willing to engage with and help veterans.
Sign Up as an Advisor.

A Veteran has military experience and is seeking a new career, or assistance with life after service.
Sign Up as a Veteran.