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Old 01-12-2016, 03:51 AM
 
Location: Empire State of Philly
1,746 posts, read 1,280,606 times
Reputation: 2986

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Hello everyone,

I have been rather stressed out lately because of the gap on my resume. I finished my last placement in June 2015 and it took me 8 months to find another job for some unknown reason. I couldn't land a single phone interview, no matter how much I tried. Also, due to desperation, I accepted a call-center job abroad which ended pretty abruptly after one day. This misstep disrupted my job search for a couple of weeks as I had stopped looking after landing that job.

Now, I have landed another position on a temporary basis and I'm wondering about the aftermaths. Certain employers will certainly question this 8 months gap and put it down on a certain unwillingness to work, which is obviously not the case.

I have a solid educational background (graduated in September 2014) and experience, but I'm afraid this 8 months gap might jinx certain opportunities. Strange how everyone in my class have their careers on track and I'm still struggling despite the fact we had similar credentials upon graduation.

If the gap happens to be questionned, how should I respond?
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Old 01-12-2016, 04:45 AM
 
Location: Oklahoma USA
1,196 posts, read 840,211 times
Reputation: 4389
Nowadays gaps are not unusual.

You travelled abroad in an effort to seek employment in your field. That shows initiative and adaptability! Plus you have the passport stamps to prove it.

During your months of job search you probably did a lot of other constructive things:

Any volunteer work or projects you may have done in your community.

Assisted elderly or disabled relatives or neighbors.

Pursued 'whole person' type betterment, such as undertaking exercise, or getting some cosmetic dentistry done -- things like that.

While you were abroad on the unfortunate job that fell through, you took that as an opportunity to experience the foreign culture by visiting museums, etc.

"Oh yes, I was 8 months between jobs, and I put it to good use. When the job in Timbuktu fell through because it turned out to better suited for somebody who speaks Farsi and specialises in gold-plating snack foods -- not my skillset -- I spent a couple of weeks touring the country and visited the Timbuktu Museum of Industry.

"When I got home, and returned to sending out resumes, I was able to get Aunt Gertrude settled into a retirement community, and spent some time teaching underwater basket weaving to the residents.

"I used this interlude in my schedule to get some dental work done that I had been postposing because it required two weeks of soft foods and a course of medication to recover from. "

"As soon as I felt up to it, I became at absolute gym rat. Every day after I got up early to do my job search correspondence, I hit the gym.

"It was an entirely productive time in my life, and I got a lot of things done that were very much worth doing!"
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:41 AM
 
3,460 posts, read 2,196,450 times
Reputation: 6130
Quote:
Originally Posted by LostinPhilly View Post
Hello everyone,

I have been rather stressed out lately because of the gap on my resume. I finished my last placement in June 2015 and it took me 8 months to find another job for some unknown reason. I couldn't land a single phone interview, no matter how much I tried. Also, due to desperation, I accepted a call-center job abroad which ended pretty abruptly after one day. This misstep disrupted my job search for a couple of weeks as I had stopped looking after landing that job.

Now, I have landed another position on a temporary basis and I'm wondering about the aftermaths. Certain employers will certainly question this 8 months gap and put it down on a certain unwillingness to work, which is obviously not the case.

I have a solid educational background (graduated in September 2014) and experience, but I'm afraid this 8 months gap might jinx certain opportunities. Strange how everyone in my class have their careers on track and I'm still struggling despite the fact we had similar credentials upon graduation.

If the gap happens to be questionned, how should I respond?
Don't have a gap in your resume. Put in something for the time. You were working on a book (maybe a textbook that related to your solid educational background) and you are looking for a publisher now. I worked with a guy who quit his job to work on building his cabin full-time for a year and afterwards found another full-time job.
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Old 01-12-2016, 05:54 AM
 
Location: Over yonder a piece
3,910 posts, read 4,644,145 times
Reputation: 6247
I was laid off in 2009 and it took 11 months for me to find a full-time job again. However, in that 11 months I became an at-home transcriptionist to earn a bit of money while I continued my job search. This not only allowed me to supplement my UE payments so that those payments could stretch and last longer than expected, but allowed me to have something on my resume that filled that gap between permanent jobs.

Once I got the permanent job, and worked there for a year, I removed the freelance blurb from my resume altogether, knowing I could speak to it if asked. Fortunately, I've not had to speak to it as I've been with my current company for over 6 years now, with no plans on leaving until I retire.
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Old 01-12-2016, 06:25 AM
 
Location: Empire State of Philly
1,746 posts, read 1,280,606 times
Reputation: 2986
I have indeed been volunteering at a charity, providing pro-bono legal advice for the diseased and disabled.

I have become a gym rat, but I think I'll keep this to myself because it won't take me very far in the corporate finance industry.

I can however attest of the fact that I have been working on setting up my own company relating to a passion of mine. I have done some extensive research and more or less got a first draft of a business plan together. I probably won't put this on my resume but I can discuss it in depth should the question be raised.

Also, I've started working towards a national professional certification relating to my field which I added to my resume, to fill in the gap to a certain extent.
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Old 01-12-2016, 09:04 AM
 
2,078 posts, read 1,854,906 times
Reputation: 2677
During my gaps, I a. Volunteered as a tutor at my church and a community service in Harlem, b. Did a few internships, c. Helped my uncle with odd jobs, d. Helped my brother with his business and d. Learned new things/wrote stories to keep my typing skills and writing fresh.

As long as you're doing something aside from collecting unemployment, that's a plus imo.
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Old 01-12-2016, 09:16 AM
 
2,563 posts, read 2,788,261 times
Reputation: 3479
I once "retired early" at age 35 and I didn't work again for five years or so. When I once again applied for a job, the HR people asked me about the five year gap and I told them I was traveling, etc. She said "oh, you were a consultant." I guess she put that down and everyone was happy. I got the job.

Anyway, I can't imagine that having an eight month gap will make much of a difference to anyone.
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Old 01-12-2016, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Empire State of Philly
1,746 posts, read 1,280,606 times
Reputation: 2986
Quote:
Originally Posted by deposite View Post
During my gaps, I a. Volunteered as a tutor at my church and a community service in Harlem, b. Did a few internships, c. Helped my uncle with odd jobs, d. Helped my brother with his business and d. Learned new things/wrote stories to keep my typing skills and writing fresh.

As long as you're doing something aside from collecting unemployment, that's a plus imo.
I didn't even collecting unemployment!

I didn't apply for several reasons (I live in Europe) which have more to do with the fact that I don't want to rely on social welfare. I'm not interested in collecting unemployment at all. My parents think I'm crazy, but I have enough pride not rely on myself only.
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Old 01-12-2016, 10:34 AM
 
Location: Empire State of Philly
1,746 posts, read 1,280,606 times
Reputation: 2986
Quote:
Originally Posted by Corporate Office View Post
Use years ago on your resume and not months.


Use a functional resume format where the first page talks about accomplishments by function and you don't talk about your actual jobs until page two.
It's the format I've been using.

My educational background preceeds my employment history.

I have a question though. Using years is one thing, but during the interview companies tend to ask about the exact dates. I remember sending out resume with years only, and I was always asked about the exact dates/length during interviews. Is the impact any different if asked during the interview stage? I personally don't think there is much of a difference.
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Old 01-12-2016, 11:57 AM
 
3,764 posts, read 3,500,076 times
Reputation: 8933
A few months or even a year gap is pretty common these days. If it were 1998, someone might reasonably ask why you were unemployed for so long, though in those days people were making so much money that a few months sabbatical was also pretty common.

If I were interviewing someone who had an 8 month gap, I probably wouldn't even ask them about it.

Anyway, best of luck.
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