If your resume has a gap, either between jobs or after graduating from college, you should address it in your application.  Some MBA programs designate a space in their online application for you to talk about employment gaps, but if there isn’t  a specific area for this, the optional essay would be the next best place to do so.

Whether you have been looking for a job for six months, were on medical leave, took a few months to study for the GMAT, or toured the world with a backpack, you want to give the admissions committee an insight into your decision-making process and the circumstances. Don’t turn this into a sob story, or try to impress them with the wonderful view from Mt. Everest. Keep it simple: stick to the facts, and be concise.

If this gap resulted in some deep reflection on your life, career or past, you can integrate these notions into the main essays. You should be respectful of the admissions committee’s time and effort: focus on the critical aspects.

Let me give you my two cents on your optional essay. Send it to yael@admit1mba.com for a free evaluation.