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Job Interview Question: What Have You Been Doing Since Your Last Job?

How to Explain an Employment Gap


Business executive discussing with her client
ONOKY - Eric Audras

If you have an employment gap on your resume, the interviewer will probably ask you what you have been doing while you were out of work.

The best way to answer this question is to be honest, but do have an answer prepared. You will want to let the interviewer know that you were busy and active, regardless of whether you were out of work by choice, or otherwise. Here are some suggestions on how to explain what you did while you were out of the workforce.

  • I worked on several freelance projects, while actively job seeking.
  • I volunteered for a literacy program that assists disadvantaged children.
  • My aging parents needed a temporary caregiver and I spent time looking after them.
  • I spent time being a stay-at-home mom and volunteering at my daughter's school.
  • I took some continuing education classes and seminars.

As I said, it doesn't really matter what you did, as long as you have an explanation. Hiring managers understand that people lose their job - it can happen to anyone - and it's not always easy to find a new job fast. Also, there are legitimate non-employment reasons for being out of the workforce.

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