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ten.tries

Job interview: How to explain gaps in my resume?

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Hi guys, I have a job interview later that I don't even know how I qualified for because my resume is so sparse . . . I'm sure they'll ask me why all I have on there are brief part-time freelance gigs and a 4-month full-time stint with lots of gaps in between. Do you have any advice on what I could say to explain it without letting them know that I'm mentally ill?

Thank you so much

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How about you were taking care of a sick relative?  (I mean, you are taking care of yourself, and I see yourself being a relative to yourself, right?)

Did you volunteer anywhere?  That can be something too, to bring up.

About the short term gigs, those could be because you couldn't find full-time work (whether you were or not, they don't know that).

Hope this helps.

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I ditto the sick parent. It always works for me. After I tell them this, I have never had anyone ask a question back to me.

 

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You can be even more vague and say "family obligations" or "Illness in the family."  There was someone ill in the family---they don't need to know who it was.

olga

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In addition to the above suggestions, can you try to spin the employment history and your decision to apply to this job in a positive way - even if it's not the full story? Like say that you tried for a while to do freelance work because you thought you wanted to be self employed and be in control of your business and while doing so you learned [say something about your skill set], but also that at this time, you have decided that you wanted a change and are looking to move into [whatever type of work the company you applied to does]. Then say something positive about the company you are applying for and that you are excited about the opportunity to grow with the company. Something along those lines. 

Edit: Looks like I may have been to late for this interview since I missed the part about when the interview actually was. But maybe my response can still help someone if they look at this post later. 

Edited by thunder
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By this point you have had the interview already, right?  Didn't you have it a couple of days ago?  If so, how did it go?

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Hi everyone, I ended up cancelling the interview and withdrawing my application. It wasn't a great day. But thank you for all of the advice, I might actually use some of it in the (hopefully near) future.

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6 hours ago, ten.tries said:

Hi everyone, I ended up cancelling the interview and withdrawing my application. It wasn't a great day. But thank you for all of the advice, I might actually use some of it in the (hopefully near) future.

I hope in the future things go better for you.

Out of curiosity (and please dont' answer if you don't feel comfortable doing so) ... why did you cancel the interview and withdraw your application?

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10 hours ago, melissaw72 said:

I hope in the future things go better for you.

Out of curiosity (and please dont' answer if you don't feel comfortable doing so) ... why did you cancel the interview and withdraw your application?

Thank you, friend.

I had a mini-meltdown two hours before the interview, and then I realized that it wasn't worth the anxiety it was giving me. It was for a company in an industry I wasn't really interested in, and I was never even sure if I really wanted the job. I just took the job exam for the lols, and then shit got way too real way too fast. Suddenly I had a phone interview, and then they were calling me to come to their office for another interview, and just. Yikes.

Anyway, I just find it really difficult finding the balance between "taking care of myself" and "taking chances for growth" because the risk is so real and one wrong move could cause another major depressive episode, and if I'm going to risk that then I want it to be for something I actually want that's actually worth the risk.

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1 hour ago, ten.tries said:

Anyway, I just find it really difficult finding the balance between "taking care of myself" and "taking chances for growth" because the risk is so real and one wrong move could cause another major depressive episode, and if I'm going to risk that then I want it to be for something I actually want that's actually worth the risk.

I'm glad you listened to yourself and did what was best for you.  Even if it meant withdrawing your application.

Regarding the "taking care of myself" and "taking chances for growth," for me I almost always take care of myself first because if I can't take care of myself I can't be there for others.  No matter what it is.  I always take others into consideration, but I just make sure I am ok enough to do so with others.  And if I can't do something, then I can't do something.  I never commit to anything because that just makes everything worse.  I could "do" a job, even maybe volunteer, but when I have to commit to it it kind of freaks me out and I start becoming symptomatic again. 

(in bold)  I completely agree.

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16 minutes ago, melissaw72 said:

I'm glad you listened to yourself and did what was best for you.  Even if it meant withdrawing your application.

Regarding the "taking care of myself" and "taking chances for growth," for me I almost always take care of myself first because if I can't take care of myself I can't be there for others.  No matter what it is.  I always take others into consideration, but I just make sure I am ok enough to do so with others.  And if I can't do something, then I can't do something.

I hope it really was what's best for me and not just another excuse. Every time I turn something down it always just sounds like an excuse, and I'm getting tired of it + of myself. It isn't always easy to tell when I really just can't/shouldn't do something and when I need to push myself a little harder.

 

Quote

I never commit to anything because that just makes everything worse.  I could "do" a job, even maybe volunteer, but when I have to commit to it it kind of freaks me out and I start becoming symptomatic again. 

That's exactly it, it's so difficult to commit to anything. But the pressure to become a "functioning" member of society is real—I can't mooch off my parents forever, I can't keep avoiding stress and anxiety forever. So I'll just have to learn to manage.

This whole job scare (lol) has been a wake-up call of sorts. At the very least it's made me start thinking about the future again, and it's pushed me forward a tiny bit. Now I plan to go back and start seeing my doctor and counselor again (maybe find a better one), figure out if I'm really ready to start working full-time, find a way to work around all this fear and lack of motivation.

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8 minutes ago, ten.tries said:

That's exactly it, it's so difficult to commit to anything. But the pressure to become a "functioning" member of society is real—I can't mooch off my parents forever, I can't keep avoiding stress and anxiety forever. So I'll just have to learn to manage.

I'm sure you already know this, but all of what you say could take a long time to get through.  I know what you mean about your parents and their money, but in the present that is what you need ... and if they are willing to do that then that is one stress lifted for the moment at least. 

I'm sorry if I missed this, but do you see a therapist (tdoc)?  I think that would be a great way to learn to manage the stress and anxiety.  For me just talking about it works, and the just knowing there is someone there who understands me if I need help.  There are also things like DBT and CBT, but honestly they didnt' help me ... YMMV though.  They do work for a lot of people.  Maybe you could look into those?  A tdoc would know how to work with you using DBT/CBT skills to learn, then to use them when you aren't with your tdoc.

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2 hours ago, melissaw72 said:

I'm sure you already know this, but all of what you say could take a long time to get through.  I know what you mean about your parents and their money, but in the present that is what you need ... and if they are willing to do that then that is one stress lifted for the moment at least. 

I'm sorry if I missed this, but do you see a therapist (tdoc)?  I think that would be a great way to learn to manage the stress and anxiety.  For me just talking about it works, and the just knowing there is someone there who understands me if I need help.  There are also things like DBT and CBT, but honestly they didnt' help me ... YMMV though.  They do work for a lot of people.  Maybe you could look into those?  A tdoc would know how to work with you using DBT/CBT skills to learn, then to use them when you aren't with your tdoc.

I have a pdoc and a counselor, but I haven't seen either of them in several months. Stopped seeing them partly because money, partly because I didn't have much to report/didn't know what to report, partly because I could barely see any progress even after 2+ years of seeing them both.

Last time I saw my counselor I mentioned my interest in trying out CBT or another similar form of therapy—not that I know her job better than her, it's just all I seem to do is vent every time we see each other, and I'm not sure how much that really helps. She basically said she needs to hear me talk some more before she can decide what kind of therapy I need, and deep down I'm just, "Dude, we've been seeing each other on and off for years, how are we still at this stage?" Plus she'd only see me once a month—again, not saying that I know her job better, but. :\

I DO plan on coming back to see them both this November, though. (Plus maybe my pdoc will finally give me something for anxiety, even though last time he just told me that my anti-depressant works for anxiety too.) Anyway, I know I haven't been the best patient and probably shouldn't quit seeing my counselor every time I stop feeling any progress, but I still feel like she probably isn't the right fit for me and am seriously considering trying a different counselor—this time closer to where I live so at least I'd have a good excuse and avoid an awkward "break-up" if ever.

Wow, sorry for rambling. :\

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22 minutes ago, ten.tries said:

I have a pdoc and a counselor, but I haven't seen either of them in several months. Stopped seeing them partly because money, partly because I didn't have much to report/didn't know what to report, partly because I could barely see any progress even after 2+ years of seeing them both.

Last time I saw my counselor I mentioned my interest in trying out CBT or another similar form of therapy—not that I know her job better than her, it's just all I seem to do is vent every time we see each other, and I'm not sure how much that really helps. She basically said she needs to hear me talk some more before she can decide what kind of therapy I need, and deep down I'm just, "Dude, we've been seeing each other on and off for years, how are we still at this stage?" Plus she'd only see me once a month—again, not saying that I know her job better, but. :\

I DO plan on coming back to see them both this November, though. (Plus maybe my pdoc will finally give me something for anxiety, even though last time he just told me that my anti-depressant works for anxiety too.) Anyway, I know I haven't been the best patient and probably shouldn't quit seeing my counselor every time I stop feeling any progress, but I still feel like she probably isn't the right fit for me and am seriously considering trying a different counselor—this time closer to where I live so at least I'd have a good excuse and avoid an awkward "break-up" if ever.

Wow, sorry for rambling. :\

Maybe you should really put your foot down when you see your counselor next ... I would say something like 'It doesn't seem like we are getting anywhere (in therapy) ... how do you see things happening?  I would really like to learn CBT skills regardless of what point I am at.  Who knows, maybe it would work better now.'  And when she talks about you talking more before deciding on what kind of therapy you need, to me it seems like she is stringing you along for some reason.  And seeing her once a month isn't helping anything either. 

I believe that sometimes we do know others' jobs better than they do only because we know ourselves better than anyone ... which they don't, and can't read minds.  It is her mind she might be thinking that you aren't ready for CBT (or whatever), but you know your mind (which you know more than she knows) that you truly are ready to learn some skills to help you through the rough times.  And if she decides not to teach you ... and you only see her once a month ... how are you to cope when something comes up and she isn't available to talk to? 

I'm glad you are seeing them both in November.  I hope your pdoc will give you something for the anxiety.  Maybe the anti-depressant works as an anti-anxiety also, but it isn't enough to keep the anxiety at bay.  I would let pdoc know that you are still having a lot of anxiety on top of what the other med is doing for the anxiety.

I do think you are right about not quitting if you feel like like there is no progress.  I think you should go, and like you said, find another counselor to help you.  Even if just for a 2nd opinion.

Don't worry about rambling ... I do it too ... nothing wrong with it :)

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Can I put maternity leave for 9 years ... they don't have to know I don't have a baby.. I have had a dog for over 9 years.. that still counts right? 

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7 minutes ago, KnickNak said:

Can I put maternity leave for 9 years ... they don't have to know I don't have a baby.. I have had a dog for over 9 years.. that still counts right? 

 

nm I should read first

Edited by confused
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2 hours ago, confused said:

Can you say you were taking care of a relative, or did you do any volunteering?

The job i have it was okay to have a gap.

I didn't do any volunteering.. etc, I applied to a hospital job 3 weeks ago , I am sure that's the reason why I haven't heard anything back. 

Edited by KnickNak

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