Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Every Battery Needs Time To Recharge

If you are one of those people who has been looking for a job for a while, and there are PLENTY of people out there in the same situation as you, it is important that you take some time to think about how you would respond to the following question that would be naturally posed by a hiring manager, “"I have noticed that you have been out of work for over X months. Can you explain this break in employment?"

While there are a number of directions that you can go with your response, honesty will always be the best policy. Of course, honesty also requires the correct verbiage. If you need some assistance with regard to the phrasing, you may want to consider one of the following responses:

  • "I am looking for something different. I am fortunate to be in a position to take time to make sure this job is right for both of us."

  • "I have used this time to brush up (or learn) a new skill, and now I am ready to contribute my knowledge and expertise to a viable company such as yours." - There are lots of opportunities for free or low-cost education – community education, seminars, companies that want to show off the features of their latest gadget/software/whatever, and so forth. There are all sorts of online training programs that are free, too! As long as you can make a case for it making you a better candidate for the position, do it.

  • "I have used the downtime to get Re-certified and Re-Inspired to commit to a permanent role such as this that we are discussing."

  • “I would rather take the time to find the right position with the right company than make a mistake and have to start all over again.”

  • “I have been actively searching for a position through networking, job boards, recruiters, etc."

Anyone with gaps in their employment should think about filling it with part-time volunteer work, education, community service, or other activity that shows a positive attitude, desire to improve themselves or the lives of others, and commitment to personal growth. How many times have you wished you could do something if only you had the time? Get busy! Being unemployed can actually lead to life changing opportunities that may fill gaps in the résumé with qualities & experience that will ultimately make you a more desirable candidate.