Wednesday, August 19, 2009

How to deal with a health-related gap in your resume

Recently, I was helping a friend prepare for an interview. This person had a rather significant gap in her resume which was related to a medical issue (which has been addressed and would no longer effect her ability to work).

Interviewers can be worried about gaps in resumes. It's something that everyone should be ready to address when going in for an interview. The question is, how much information do you give? I'm not a fan of lying in interviews. I find people who are forthright and tackle concerns head-on appear like much stronger candidates than those who try to obfuscate. Still, saying "I was sick for 8 months" isn't going to fill your potential employer with confidence.

Here's how I suggested she handle it: mention that you had a health issue that needed to be addressed, and that you refrained from gaining employment until you were certain that it was taken care of, so that you’d be able to focus 100% on a new job.

The run-on nature of the sentence aside, I'd love to know what people think. I often take the view that there are going to be questions you get for which there are no good answers, and you should do your best, move on, and impress them with your answer to the next question. Still, some things are difficult to just gloss over.

(And, yes, I know that they can't ask you about your health, and I don't recommend volunteering such information, but whether or not you're obliged to tell a potential employer something, sometimes there's just no way around it. My friend couldn't have answered such a question by simply saying, "I wasn't working and that's all the information to which you are legally entitled." Okay, she could have; but that would've moronic.)

No comments:

Post a Comment