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What not to say when you have a gap in your employment history…

It might not be easy right now, but try not to represent yourself as out of control in your interview. Companies make hiring decisions based on your ability to do the job well, not because they pity or feel sorry for you.

What shouldn’t you say when they notice a significant gap in your employment history and ask what you have been doing?

  1. “It’s a bad economy right now, no one is hiring.”
    Really? No one seems like a bit of a stretch. Look for an answer that shows you are able to take some accountability for your unemployment, not that you feel helpless and like a victim. For example, the combination of a slow economy and mistakes made while job searching, demonstrate your ownership of your situation and ability to learn from mistakes. As a Career Starter, finding employment is a great learning experience for you. Employers can appreciate that you might not get everything perfect your first try; it’s what you learn that counts.
  2. “I used to be pretty good with an abacus.”
    If you have been out of the industry for a while, how will the interviewer know you aren’t going to be out of touch with the industry? Take some time to do the research to get up to speed with the changes, challenges, and current trends in the industry, to demonstrate your initiative. Freelance or volunteer work to stay involved is an even better demonstration of your effort to keep your skills up to date and in practice as well as continually improve. If you have been taking courses and growing your skillset in your time off, highlight this to demonstrate you are invested in yourself and your education and not complacent.


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