8 Tips On Addressing Employment Gaps in a Cover Letter

Eyeing your dream job in the agriculture industry but have an employment gap or two in your work history? Don’t sweat it. We’re here to break down how to tackle those gaps like a pro in your cover letter. These eight down-to-earth tips will help you address your employment gaps while sowing the seeds of confidence.

Why Even Address Employment Gaps?

Before we get into it, let’s clear the air. Not everything is predictable and employment gaps happen – in fact, they are more common than you might think. Life throws curveballs, industries change, and sometimes you just need a breather. Employers in the ag industry get that. What they’re more interested in is how you’ve kept busy during those gaps.

The Strategy: Turn Gaps into Gold

Be Honest, Be Brief: When you address gaps, don’t beat around the bush. A simple, honest sentence explaining the gap is a great start: “After my role at [Previous Company], I took a break to work on [professional development or personal growth].”

Highlight Your Up-skilling: Did you take an online course, attend workshops, or freelance? Did you work on a personal project or lend a hand on the family ranch? Mention it! Show how you used the time to sharpen your skills and keep your gears in motion.

Make the Connection: Link your gap time with the job you’re gunning for. Did you get a certification in organic farming? Did you freelance as a farm consultant? Bam! Instantly relatable skills for that organic farm management gig. Highlight how your gap period sharpened your ag acumen and you’ll be sure to connect instantly with the hiring manager.

Mind the Positives: Instead of sounding like a jobless tumbleweed, focus on positives. “I used the time to immerse myself in ag research and embrace the latest sustainable practices.” Don’t focus on what you weren’t doing, shed light on what you were.

The Attitude: Confidence is the Name of the Game

Own Your Gap Year: The key? Don’t sweat it. You didn’t rob a bank – you just took some time off. Embrace it, explain it without apology, and own it with pride.

Confidence is Contagious: When you talk about your gap, do it like you’re discussing your favorite Netflix show. It’ll make employers feel like, “Yeah, this guy’s got it together.”

Show Off Your Superpowers: Don’t give your gaps more airtime than your achievements. Shine the spotlight on your skills and experiences, as well as what you bring to the table. Gaps are just a side note in your career journey.

Mention It, Don’t Monologue It: Yep, you’re addressing the gap. But remember, your cover letter’s an Oscar-worthy trailer of your career, not a documentary on gaps. Balance is key – so showcase your fit for the job.

Cover Letter Sample with a Gap Spin

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

I am thrilled to express my enthusiasm for the [Job Title] role at [Company Name]. With a solid background in [Your Ag Area] and a proven record of [Relevant Ag Skill], I am excited about the potential to contribute to your team.

After wrapping up at [Previous Gig], I took some time to explore new ag practices and broaden my skill set. During this time I delved into [Relevant Projects or Courses]. I immersed myself in advanced ag techniques and explored sustainable practices, which align seamlessly with [Company Name]’s commitment to innovative farming.

During my time off, I also had the opportunity to work with local farmers as a volunteer ag consultant. This experience not only sharpened my problem-solving skills, it also deepened my understanding of the unique challenges faced by modern ag operators.

As someone who thrives on applying [Relevant Ag Skill] to optimize crop yields and sustainability, I am particularly drawn to [Company Name]’s forward-thinking initiatives. The recent success in [Notable Ag Achievement] solidifies my eagerness to join a team dedicated to pushing the boundaries of modern agriculture.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to discussing how my diverse experiences can contribute to the continued growth and success of [Company Name]. My resume is attached for your review.

Best,

[Your Name]

Your Potential Means Most

Remember, employers are more interested in your potential and what you can bring to the table than in your past gaps. They want to see how you’ve nurtured your skills and passion, regardless of your time “off.” So, as you write your cover letter, embrace your path, and showcase how your experiences – both on and off the field – make you a perfect fit for the role. Now, go till that cover letter soil with confidence, ag pros!