Gaps in your resume might make things a bit complicated every time you seek a new job. Are there some acceptable responses for interview questions involving the same in the corporate world?
An internet user asked, “How do I explain a long period of unemployment to a new employer?”.
OP says, “I recently quit my job with nothing else lined up, bad decision, I know. The longer my unemployment goes on I feel makes it harder to give a good enough reason as to why. I don’t want my new employer to think of me as a quitter and therefore turn me away. I last worked in mid-May, it’s now mid-July as I wrote this, any ideas as to how I can explain this?”
Here are some suggestions users came up with.
On The Lookout For A Good Workplace Like Theirs
“If they ask, just say, ‘I’m looking for a great company, like yours, and it’s taking more time than I thought.’
You can add,’Also, I want to make sure I’m a good fit for the company and your job description and company aligns very well with my skillset and experience.’
You are looking for a good company to work for so you don’t want to quit without a backup plan or another job lined up.
I’ve been out some mid-April, and no one asked why I’ve been out that long. But that is the reason.”
Tell Them You Took A Break
“Explain? It’s just a month and a bit. Say you took a holiday. Nobody cares about such a short time.”
Talk About Your Side Hustle
“Here’s a HINT for all of you, every single one of you. Create a Side Gig, and use that for periods of unemployment on your resume. It’ll fill the space and you can explain that your business picked up, and was doing really well, but with Covid or inflation (whatever excuse you make up) that business slowed down and you had to reenter the workforce to find a position and your side gig is on hold or your closed up shop.”
“I’ve literally said ‘I didn’t need to work to make ends meet, so I didn’t work’ and that interview got me my current job.”
Tell You’ve Had Offers
“If they ask, say you had a position lined up but the offer was rescinded. It happens.”
You Multiplied Your Productivity
“That’s not a huge gap in employment. I was thinking you were talking about years, not months.
There are loads of things you could say, which are useful if true: Educational courses, job training, taking care of personal things, personal opportunities/experiences came up, exploring starting a business, some self-fulfilling project needed some time, time with family, backpacking through Europe.
2 months is pretty small. You could just come out and say ‘I felt my old job was holding back my career and it was time to move on. I took some time so I could present myself accurately and give potential employers the full picture, so I could move onto a role I was more suited for.”
You Took A Self-improvement Sabbatical
“Tell them that *you* decided to take a sabbatical for your own reasons, i.e., to travel, to help someone in your family, etc. Taking time off work is not a crime or a bad thing. It all depends on how you frame that part of your life.”
Tell Your Accomplishments
“It’s not so long yet. Honesty is your best bet. ‘I quit and didn’t think the job market would be as difficult as it is.’
However, it would be of great benefit to you if the time extends to be able to say you accomplished something in that time. Maybe take a course to learn something new. Volunteer with a charity.
You want an answer to the question about what you did with the time other than, ‘I sat around the house and watched Netflix’.”
Tell You Didn’t Want To Just Jump In
“Put the years you worked on your resume, don’t include the months.
If asked about it in an interview, say something like the work environment changed for the worse, so you decided it was time to part ways and look for a place that’s a better fit. Also say that you wanted to take your time to find the right fit, not just jump on the first opportunity.”
You Were Caretaking For A Family Member
” ‘I was caretaking for a family member’ and they won’t ask any further.”
You Signed An NDA
“The non-disclosure agreement I signed prevents me from sharing any information about that time period.”
Your Former Company Went Through A Reorganization
“You’ll be okay. That’s not so long. Just say your former company went through a reorg and your position was eliminated. In the meantime enroll in some online courses and say you’ve been working towards that. That way it doesn’t look like you’ve been doing nothing. Plus it might lead to a better role.”
You Wanted To Prioritize Your Health
“I was unemployed from July of last year til the end of May this year. I told people I had a health issue to take care of, which is true. I just don’t get specific. It’s really not their business. I’m glad I gave my mental health the time it deserved and had the means to do it.
It took me from Mid-March until the end of May to get something because I withdrew my application from 3 different jobs before they could make an offer. I’m working a temp job now and start a permanent job in a couple of weeks. If your industry uses temps, it can be a good way to get your foot in the door. At the very least it’s money while you keep looking.”
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This article was originally published on Mrs Daaku Studio.