I've been out of the workplace for 3 years due to some severe health problems (8 surgeries within 2.5 years). The surgeries are finally behind me, but I don't know how I can re-enter the workforce with such a gaping hole in my resume. I know I'll be able to explain the absence and assuage an employer's concerns if I can get in front of someone, but how do I get to the point where I'm offered an interview? Thanks in advance for your advice!

  • As usual, which country ? What is your age ? In which field ? Try to be as precise as you can. :)
    – Gautier C
    Jun 16, 2016 at 12:45
  • Found this article to help you ! :D
    – Gautier C
    Jun 16, 2016 at 12:51
  • Sorry, it's my first time on here. USA and I'm looking for writing and editing positions, preferably within a non-profit organization.
    – Anna Boyle
    Jun 16, 2016 at 16:38

2 Answers 2


Given you know that you have a gap on your resume and you also know you are fully able to explain that gap at interview, your question appears to be asking how to get to interview.

The classic, but rather obvious, methods apply- find jobs and apply for them.

If you are worried that the gap on your resume means you will not be invited to interview in the first place, then don't leave a gap. Instead of a role put something like:

[start date] - [end date] : Health related sabbatical

Or even just "Sabbatical", which can then be explained face to face.

  • I remember a document, which stated that you don't have to say anything about health related issue in your CV. Is a white lie not a problem about sincerity ?
    – Gautier C
    Jun 16, 2016 at 13:20
  • @GautierC, Not in the US. In the US and in large companies, many HR departments would actually black out anything you say about your health in your cover letter, or in your resume, before it even gets to the hiring manager. Jun 18, 2016 at 3:41

The best way to deal with that is to bypass the screening of random resumes process. Start networking with people. Get involved in a professional organization related to your field. Start reaching out to old coworkers. Attend job fairs. Work with a recruiter. Basically anything that can lead to bypassing the typical random resume filtering process is going to be a good thing. These are all good things in general but are even more relevant when you've got "issues" that can lead to easy disqualification of your resume.

You can put something on your resume so there isn't a gap and employers aren't left wondering but that can be as much of a problem as a gap.

Are your health issues really behind you? Are you really ready to be back to work? Are your skills still up to date? etc...

It will take a bit more effort to get back to work most likely but should get much easier once you get that first job back.

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