I have been working as an Android developer for the past 1.8 years and recently left my job. Even though I have decent knowledge of Android development, I believe one can never rely only on one technology.

Hence, I am now taking an online course in Java with data structures from a reputed institute, because I have never been good with data structures and algorithms. I have decided that for the next 3-4 months, I will concentrate only on improving my skills through this course and not take up a job.

After completing this course, how should I explain this gap in my resume?

  • The job wasn't good , wasn't paying well, intact wasn't paying at all and with the limited skill sets I have it was really difficult to find a decent job. So I thought I should not make the same mistake of choosing a mediocre company again. Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 11:27
  • That's the advice I am asking here, what would be a good explanation for this question ? Should I just tell the plain truth? P.s. I am also working as a freelancer , so maybe I can say I was never out of touch and didn't work to concentrate to improve my skills ? Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 11:31
  • I don't really understand why there should be anything to justify. 3-4 months isn't much time, and under the premise that it was used for self-education, I would consider that as a big plus. Just be frank about it. Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 20:04
  • @SmallChess Why should it be a good idea to say you were fired from a job when in fact you left voluntarily? Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 20:06
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    @AmanGrover Then you should tag your question with 'India' and also add this piece of information to it. The cultural context is probably very important. In other countries, the question about unemployment of 3-4 months might not even be raised. Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 20:50

4 Answers 4


I've been a hiring manager at several companies, let me offer you my perspective.

I get resumes. At times I get too many resumes, and have to triage them. Sadly, gaps can be a triage criterion. If you get past triage to the conversation stage, gaps are pretty easy to explain away; in your case, "I went back for more education, took X and Y courses, and (best!) Z certification". Make sure that classes/certs are on your resume, this helps. I've also seen education-based gaps mitigated by putting the education stint in the resume proper, between two jobs.

So ... to counterbalance the gap, what else can you do? At a lot of companies, having open-source projects helps, a lot. As does having something downloadable from apple/android stores. These things should be on your resume.

Last point ... many places ask for an optional cover letter. That is a good place to mention that after you left your last job you went back to school.


Unfortunately there’s not really a way to fill in the “Experiences” section on a resume with an explanation of the 3-4 month gap. However, in your cover letter, you could just specify that you took some time off to educated yourself on Data Structures.


It's not a gap. You were completing an Android/Java/comp sci course that, evidently, was a full time course. Your resume should say something like "May - August: Android course". The only risk I see is if it's something like a 10 hour a week course. You could publish some related code to demonstrate you were productive but if I were reading your resume I really wouldn't care whether you had free time or were churning out 40 hours a week during the course.

  • @JoeStrazzere I mean he could call it an "Experience" instead of "work history." That's just semantics. Made the "vacation" part more specific.
    – user42272
    Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 15:19
  • 4
    Why not treat it as "education"? Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 16:16
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    I never, ever used "Work history", but "Experience". Why would you care that I worked? You should care that I gained experience.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Oct 7, 2017 at 21:14

Assume that your CV isn't about employment, but about what you have done. Which makes obvious sense when you consider that you would list time at university. Obviously call it not "Work history" but "Experience".

So there is no gap. There is 21 months doing job X, 19 months doing job Y, 3 months doing a course in ABC. There is nothing to explain, because it is all written in your CV, no gap. What I would hope for in a CV is that every item listed gives a reason that you were a better employee at the end of that item than at the beginning, and that would be true for your course.

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