Employment Gap

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

9 months ago

What do you tell employers when they ask “what have you been doing since your last job”?

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Bluetea in Texas

9 months ago

Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas said: What do you tell employers when they ask “what have you been doing since your last job”?

There is no good answer for that one.

One thing to never say is "Looking for a job". They have heard that one a thousand times and they don't care.

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John in MD in Catonsville, Maryland

9 months ago

One thing I heard in the past was that if one volunteered, that would "look good" instead of lying around on the couch watching Oprah and Jerry Springer. Like learning new things, keeping busy, all that good stuff.

Well, near the end of my most recent interview, I was somewhat surprised to be asked "would the volunteering interfere with your job duties?" Of course I said "no, a (real) job would be the priority."

So, it certainly does appear as if there is no good answer.

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Bluetea in Texas

9 months ago

John in MD in Catonsville, Maryland said: One thing I heard in the past was that if one volunteered, that would "look good" instead of lying around on the couch watching Oprah and Jerry Springer. Like learning new things, keeping busy, all that good stuff.

Well, near the end of my most recent interview, I was somewhat surprised to be asked "would the volunteering interfere with your job duties?" Of course I said "no, a (real) job would be the priority."

So, it certainly does appear as if there is no good answer.


a
I don't think there is a good answer. Companies hate seeing gaps no matter what the story is.

I even had one guy say, "So, how have you been supporting yourself?"

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

9 months ago

I think employers are looking for pertinent skills or interests.

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John in MD in Catonsville, Maryland

9 months ago

Employers are very likely looking for pertinent skills and interests, but I got the feeling that I would have been asked the same question (if my volunteering would get in the way of work) even if I had been in the same or similar field. The same principal applies.....

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Debbie in Denver, Colorado

9 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: a
I don't think there is a good answer. Companies hate seeing gaps no matter what the story is.

I even had one guy say, "So, how have you been supporting yourself?"

What did you say to him?

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Jobseeker

9 months ago

Employers may not like those "gaps", but who doesn't have them? Especially in this era. And not all places will allow it for some jobs. I once volunteered in a health care facility and asked "Can I practice here, what I'm learning in class?", when I was in school at the time. She told me "That's for paid staff only and we have no openings.". I realized later that the unions didn't want their toes getting stepped on.

So, what's a person to do? Gaps will be there. I think it's just another method of employers weeding out their avalanche of applicants. What's a person to do when they're transitioning from what they used to do, to what they're trying to aim for? Companies want experience which they know transitioners cannot always provide.

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Debbie in Denver, Colorado

9 months ago

Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas said: What do you tell employers when they ask “what have you been doing since your last job”?

I have a hard time with the gap question and would like to hear what other people say when they are asked this question.

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catfish503 in portland, Oregon

9 months ago

Debbie in Denver, Colorado said: I have a hard time with the gap question and would like to hear what other people say when they are asked this question.

I have said a number of times that I have a lot of DIY (do it yourself) projects around my house which have kept me busy. When they ask what kinds of projects I start listing off things (some exaggerated) and also tell them that I've recently remodeled my sons home (not exaggerated). They seem to be impressed with that. Maybe because I'm an "older" woman and can do construction projects. ;)

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Jobseeker

9 months ago

catfish503 in portland, Oregon said: I have said a number of times that I have a lot of DIY (do it yourself) projects around my house which have kept me busy. When they ask what kinds of projects I start listing off things (some exaggerated) and also tell them that I've recently remodeled my sons home (not exaggerated). They seem to be impressed with that. Maybe because I'm an "older" woman and can do construction projects. ;)

Sounds impressive, but I figure they know we're not all DIY home project folks. ;-) We need a generic response that anyone can give. They may not like that either, but what were they FIGURING we were doing? (Besides the tv and dealing w/rejections.) I think the question is nothing but a trap to eliminate us by way of. One more in their "arsenal". :-(

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

9 months ago

Jobseeker said: Employers may not like those "gaps", but...

I’m still looking for a job in my previous line of work after having been laid off a while back, although it doesn’t look very promising. I’ve had some interviews, and I believe my biggest downfall is not having kept up specific skills. Well, there’s no way for me to effectively upkeep those skills. So, I’m looking at other career fields and trying to figure out how to get the training. The problem is that certain other requirements have to be met before I can pursue training. I’ve got my circumstances. The biggest requirement is maintaining basic needs and knowing it’s going to be secure for at least a couple of years. Things are up in the air at this point. I’m stuck, hopefully just temporarily. I have looked and applied at what I call “just plain old jobs.” No luck so far. I think it’s the old “overqualified/under qualified and too much competition bit.” It's a Catch-22 at this point.

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catfish503 in portland, Oregon

9 months ago

Jobseeker said: Sounds impressive, but I figure they know we're not all DIY home project folks. ;-) We need a generic response that anyone can give. They may not like that either, but what were they FIGURING we were doing? (Besides the tv and dealing w/rejections.) I think the question is nothing but a trap to eliminate us by way of. One more in their "arsenal". :-(

I don't think there is a generic response that everyone can give.

I'm a creative thinker. Working in the yard, planting a garden=landscaping; painting a room, rearranging your furniture=DIY projects; helping my son or someone else with homework=tutoring; taking my mom to her appointments/doctor=caregiver.

Even though I will tear up floors, tile and build a fence doesn't mean that is what others have to do for it to be a DIY project. I like to think beyond the obvious. ;)

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

9 months ago

Jobseeker said: Sounds impressive, but I figure they know we're not all DIY home project folks. ;-) We need a generic response that anyone can give. They may not like that either, but what were they FIGURING we were doing? (Besides the tv and dealing w/rejections.) I think the question is nothing but a trap to eliminate us by way of. One more in their "arsenal". :-(

So, what you’re saying is that whatever answer you give them is the wrong answer, therefore you’re disqualified, for whatever the reason might be. Is that correct?

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Need New Job in Chicago, Illinois

9 months ago

I never ask this as an interviewer. I don't see the point. Your previous experience before the gap on the resume was enough to get you an interview. If the gap was a huge concern, you would have already been eliminated. I just think it would make someone really uncomfortable. I may ask why there is a gap, but what you were doing during that time seems pointless. If it was relevant to the job, such as going back to school, it would already be on the resume.

Then again, I'm a bit of a people pleaser when I interview. Obviously this is asked all the time or else there wouldn't be a thread on it. But it's stupid.

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Bluetea in Texas

9 months ago

Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas said: So, what you’re saying is that whatever answer you give them is the wrong answer, therefore you’re disqualified, for whatever the reason might be. Is that correct?

At my last job, if you had a gap of over a year, you would never have been interviewed. They would have eliminated you right off the bat. Didn't matter what the story was.

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Cheryl in Saint Louis, Missouri

9 months ago

Answer with confidence. You've got nothing to be ashamed of. Tie the answer to the skills they are looking for as they related to your background either through professional experience or volunteering. Need New Job in Chicago is correct that if the gap was an initial deal breaker, you would have not been brought in for an interview. You just don't want your answer to sound like an apology.

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inlimbo in Redmond, Oregon

9 months ago

When I was asked that question. I said I had been a SAHM and then the volunteering that I recently started. Apparently that is an ok answer.

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inlimbo in Redmond, Oregon

9 months ago

I also have been working on another credential, which I won't sit for the certification exam until April. I disclosed this as well.

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Joe in Monticello, New York

9 months ago

catfish503 in portland, Oregon said: I have said a number of times that I have a lot of DIY (do it yourself) projects around my house which have kept me busy. When they ask what kinds of projects I start listing off things (some exaggerated) and also tell them that I've recently remodeled my sons home (not exaggerated). They seem to be impressed with that. Maybe because I'm an "older" woman and can do construction projects. ;)

WOW! You must be a real He-woman! Let me see those biceps.

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Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas

9 months ago

Cheryl in Saint Louis, Missouri said: Answer with confidence. You've got nothing to be ashamed of. Tie the answer to the skills they are looking for as they related to your background either through professional experience or volunteering. Need New Job in Chicago is correct that if the gap was an initial deal breaker, you would have not been brought in for an interview. You just don't want your answer to sound like an apology.

Opportunities aren’t exactly thriving. It’s not necessarily that easy to find something to do and keep it tied to your skills. I know. It’s no excuse. People do have to find “something” and make it work the best they can. I guess if they can’t, then they’ll just have to somehow move on.

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catfish503 in portland, Oregon

9 months ago

Joe in Monticello, New York said: WOW! You must be a real He-woman! Let me see those biceps.

HAHA…you should see my house! I've even impressed myself! LOL ;)

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Joe in Monticello, New York

9 months ago

catfish503 in portland, Oregon said: HAHA…you should see my house! I've even impressed myself! LOL ;)

It's actually fun and rewarding the times I've worked on my house. I think I am done with all the work I need to do even though there's always something I could change tomorrow.

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catfish503 in portland, Oregon

9 months ago

Joe in Monticello, New York said: It's actually fun and rewarding the times I've worked on my house. I think I am done with all the work I need to do even though there's always something I could change tomorrow.

Same here! A few years ago I tore my kitchen down to the studs and remodeled it. My bathroom needs the same but no money right now so it's on hold! Save a ton doing it yourself and the satisfaction is worth the hard work! My house is 88 years old so there is always something to change in it! ;))

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Joe in Monticello, New York

9 months ago

catfish503 in portland, Oregon said: Same here! A few years ago I tore my kitchen down to the studs and remodeled it. My bathroom needs the same but no money right now so it's on hold! Save a ton doing it yourself and the satisfaction is worth the hard work! My house is 88 years old so there is always something to change in it! ;))

I hate painting though. Haven't done it in the house I'm living in now. It could use it.

Painting is fun for the first 30 minutes then it s*ckks. My sister paints like every 2 yrs!!!!!

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Need New Job in Chicago, Illinois

9 months ago

Joe in Monticello, New York said: I hate painting though. Haven't done it in the house I'm living in now. It could use it.

Painting is fun for the first 30 minutes then it s*ckks. My sister paints like every 2 yrs!!!!!

So do I. I get bored of the same color.

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catfish503 in portland, Oregon

9 months ago

Joe in Monticello, New York said: I hate painting though. Haven't done it in the house I'm living in now. It could use it.

Painting is fun for the first 30 minutes then it s*ckks. My sister paints like every 2 yrs!!!!!

I like to paint! Like NNJ I get bored with the same color. Trim painting is relaxing. LOL
I don't like to mask so I've gotten really good at painting the trim work. ;0

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Joe in Monticello, New York

9 months ago

Actually I painted one room now that I remember.....my garage is pink. True. The garage is one of my favorite rooms in the house.

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inlimbo in San Jose, California

9 months ago

catfish503 in portland, Oregon said: I like to paint! Like NNJ I get bored with the same color. Trim painting is relaxing. LOL
I don't like to mask so I've gotten really good at painting the trim work. ;0

I love to paint!

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Debbie in Denver, Colorado

9 months ago

catfish503 in portland, Oregon said: I have said a number of times that I have a lot of DIY (do it yourself) projects around my house which have kept me busy. When they ask what kinds of projects I start listing off things (some exaggerated) and also tell them that I've recently remodeled my sons home (not exaggerated). They seem to be impressed with that. Maybe because I'm an "older" woman and can do construction projects. ;)

I have used this to. I don't see anything wrong with this for an answer.

I imagine there are more people with gaps than not, especially in this economy.

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unemployed princess in Dallas, Texas

9 months ago

Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas said: What do you tell employers when they ask “what have you been doing since your last job”?

I understand that some underemployed people go to interviews that will help them make more money but what I don't understand is that during an interview employers assume I am employed.

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Bluetea in Texas

9 months ago

inlimbo in San Jose, California said: I love to paint!

Oh, come over. You will be in Hog Heaven when I am done with you.

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Bluetea in Texas

9 months ago

Joe in Monticello, New York said: Actually I painted one room now that I remember.....my garage is pink. True. The garage is one of my favorite rooms in the house.

Your garage is pink? What a p*$$y you turned out to be.

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inlimbo in Redmond, Oregon

9 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: Oh, come over. You will be in Hog Heaven when I am done with you.

Hope you need to paint inside and out.

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Joe in Monticello, New York

9 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: Your garage is pink? What a p*$$y you turned out to be.

Just ask my girl in NC.

Hey, like how I dropped off the Gagill? Just like Oprah, Michael, and a few others. Big shots do that!

Must be a slow night in your talking to me. What gives?

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Joe in Monticello, New York

9 months ago

corrected

if

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Completely Broke and Broken in Cleveland, Ohio

9 months ago

Indie_One in Wichita, Kansas said: What do you tell employers when they ask “what have you been doing since your last job”?

I've been at the bar.

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inlimbo in Redmond, Oregon

9 months ago

Completely Broke and Broken in Cleveland, Ohio said: I've been at the bar.

Now that is funny.

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Need New Job in Chicago, Illinois

9 months ago

catfish503 in portland, Oregon said: I like to paint! Like NNJ I get bored with the same color. Trim painting is relaxing. LOL
I don't like to mask so I've gotten really good at painting the trim work. ;0

have a painting party! The b*tch of it is that I'm allergic to latex and can't be around wet paint. I really do have a wonderfully and tolerant husband.

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Unix Brat in Asheville, North Carolina

9 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said: Your garage is pink? What a p*$$y you turned out to be.

It's true, Joe's favorite room is pink and fabulous.

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catfish503 in portland, Oregon

9 months ago

Need New Job in Chicago, Illinois said: have a painting party! The b*tch of it is that I'm allergic to latex and can't be around wet paint. I really do have a wonderfully and tolerant husband.

You're hubby sounds great!

If I lived closer I would be over to help paint your new beautiful home! All I ask for is a bottle of Cabernet! ;)

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catfish503 in portland, Oregon

9 months ago

Unix Brat in Asheville, North Carolina said: It's true, Joe's favorite room is pink and fabulous.

Isn't that something from Victoria Secret? Hah! ;)

Glad to see you on here Brat! :))

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Unix Brat in Asheville, North Carolina

9 months ago

catfish503 in portland, Oregon said: Isn't that something from Victoria Secret? Hah! ;)

Glad to see you on here Brat! :))


I lurk from time to time :)

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John in MD in Catonsville, Maryland

9 months ago

Unix Brat in Asheville, North Carolina said: I lurk from time to time :)

Glad I'm not the only lurker.......

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Unix Brat in Asheville, North Carolina

9 months ago

John in MD in Catonsville, Maryland said: Glad I'm not the only lurker.......

great minds think alike :P

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inlimbo in Redmond, Oregon

9 months ago

As long as all the lurkers like pink it is all okay.

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unemployed princess in Dallas, Texas

9 months ago

I never have been asked about unemployment gaps in person however I see them online. I am just honest and I tell them that I have been focusing on college. It was not until summer that I actually started looking for full time work. the only reason why I continue going to school full time is because I was unable to find a full time job. people who have not been unemployed before or will have not been laid off will not understand that's in my opinion. and their minds as being employed it is easy to get a job most likely they are not even to what is going on in the economy unfortunately they would have to be laid off or unemployed to know what we are going through. some people have it all and then again some people lose it all but sometimes people who have it all lose it all later in life. so it takes them a long time to understand why there are so many unemployed. I really feel sorry for employers that have been true to me and employers that have given me bad interviews. it lets me know that not only do they not like their job but I at least get a taste of if I did get hired what type of people I would be working for. so in a way these rude interviewers and employers are doing me a favor. I really think that if a person love their job they have no reason to be nasty to other people during interviews.

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Bluetea in Texas

9 months ago

unemployed princess in Dallas, Texas said: I never have been asked about unemployment gaps in person however I see them online. I am just honest and I tell them that I have been focusing on college. It was not until summer that I actually started looking for full time work. the only reason why I continue going to school full time is because I was unable to find a full time job. people who have not been unemployed before or will have not been laid off will not understand that's in my opinion. and their minds as being employed it is easy to get a job most likely they are not even to what is going on in the economy unfortunately they would have to be laid off or unemployed to know what we are going through. some people have it all and then again some people lose it all but sometimes people who have it all lose it all later in life. so it takes them a long time to understand why there are so many unemployed. I really feel sorry for employers that have been true to me and employers that have given me bad interviews. it lets me know that not only do they not like their job but I at least get a taste of if I did get hired what type of people I would be working for. so in a way these rude interviewers and employers are doing me a favor. I really think that if a person love their job they have no reason to be nasty to other people during interviews.

Going forward, if you decide to leave the workforce for whatever reason whether to be a SAHM or to study Zen in Japan, you need a plan for re-entry. Companies for whatever reason, hate seeing long unemployment gaps.

At my last company, if you had a gap for over a year, they wouldn't touch you. Didn't matter what your story was.

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Dog_Guy in Miami, Florida

9 months ago

Bluetea in Texas said:

I even had one guy say, "So, how have you been supporting yourself?"

I've heard that quite a bit, it seriously annoys me. I would never ask someone that question and anyone who asks that to me, is instantly downgraded to "Not a person I want to deal with"

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unemployed princess in Dallas, Texas

9 months ago

Dog_Guy in Miami, Florida said: I've heard that quite a bit, it seriously annoys me. I would never ask someone that question and anyone who asks that to me, is instantly downgraded to "Not a person I want to deal with"

i hate when debt collectors ask me that, if i was employed i would pay my debt back, why would i want a debt collector to keep bugging me? i have not had an employer ask me that question and thank heavens because i would have went in a rage and then i would never get hired

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