There is a big time gap in my resume, how do I make up for that???

Okay here is my story. Last year, I graduated college and got my degree. Been struggling to find work for a year basically. Had a couple offers but I felt the pay was not high enough however, I tried to go back to those companies now that is has become much harder to find work. My worry is this year of not working looks bad. People want to know what did you do for a year. Obviously I was looking for a job but I also was an active volunteer, I have been applying to grad school and creating a new idea for a business I wish to start.

The issue is I lack work experience in a corporate setting, I am eager to learn new things I have computer skills. I am no dummy but I need help on my interviewing skills. While in college, I was an admin asst so thats all I basically have as experience.

I have an interview with a computer company tommorrow for a full time position. If all goes well I could have a job on Monday.

Can I say that I have been independently pursuing nonprofit?

Update:

Thanks for the answers, By active volunteer I mean I volunteer with churches, social organizations and other groups that help better society. For my business plans, it would basically be a counseling group.

I need tips on how to improve my interviewing skills! IF anyone can provide interviewing skills aside from the obvious (about presentation, etc). I NEED THIS JOB really bad. How can I improve my interviewing skills??

13 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Hey Charity,

    If people don't point out the gap(s) in your resume, then there's no need to call attention to it (or them). As a musician and a student, I've had major gaps in mine, but I'd explain what happened during that time at interviews, and most of the time they wouldn't care. In fact, the reasons for your time off sound better than mine!

    Have you considered working for a temp agency? They're motivated to get you to work because they take a cut (although you should NEVER have to pay a temp agency; the companies that hire you pay them). You get a chance to feel out a company during their project, and they get a feel for how you work. I'm sure that if you were given a chance to show how you would work, they would more likely hire you off of your work performance than they would off your of resume. Plus, you enjoy lots of flexibility as a temp, and you could gain experience in several different areas pretty quickly. Also, you could list your work experience as a temp because you are formally hired by the temp agency, even if they don't have any work for you.

    In Christ,

    Eric

  • 1 decade ago

    First, be honest and tell them that you were searching for a job and were active in volunteer positions. Employers understand the current economy and how hard it can be for a new grad. They will understand that you were searching whether to find a job or go on for a grad degree. Don't ever lie....recruiters deal with interviewee's all the time so they can sniff out someone who is fudging the details.

    For your interviewing skills, search on the internet for typcial interview questions and prepare answers. (such as http://www.career.vt.edu/JOBSEARC/interview/questi...

    You don't want these to sound rehearsed but you want to be able to quickly come up with an answer. Then ask a friend to role play so you know you can do this in front of another human being.

    Also be prepared for job related questions as well. They will want to know what experience you have, if any, to see if they can teach you in that position. If they ask about your lack of experience in the real world tell them about the experience you had in classes and that you are eager to learn more. Maybe think of a situation where you had to quickly learn a new skill (related to this job or not) to show them you catch on fast.

    After all your prep get a good night sleep. The worst thing is going into an interview so exhausted you can't concentrate. There is a lot of great information on the internet as well.

    Best of luck to you!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Actually, many graduates take up to a year to find their first job. You certainly won't be the only one to have such a big gap!

    It is fine to say that you have been searching for employment/evaluating opportunities/however you want to put it. It is also good to mention that you volunteered.

    I would omit the part about applying to grad school, as this could make it look like you will leave the job if you get in, and I would also not mention about wanting to start your own business as there are all sorts of issues here (will it be in competition to this employer? will it distract you from work on occasion? etc).

    Don't worry about lacking work experience - almost all new graduates have only a small amount of experience (given that no employer cares if you worked in a supermarket all summer; corporate experience is all that counts). Likewise, your interview skills might not be a finely honed as someone older, but as long as you prepare as thoroughly as you can then you should do fine.

    If you do find that lack of experience is a problem, try looking for employment agencies which specialise in finding work for graduates. It could be that the positions that you're applying to aren't quite appropriate for someone with no experience. But remember, we all have to start somewhere!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I would personally tell them what you were doing, I have taken almost a year off in between jobs and have had no problems during interviews when the question is brought up. If you carry on a quick and interesting conversation with the recruiter it will demonstrate some good interpersonal skills that most companies are looking for

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  • 1 decade ago

    You should list the volunteer experience on your resume with your job experience. When listing the job title, company and job responsibilities, note in parantheses next to the job title (volunteer). Employers look upon volunteer experience favorably. Just because it is unpaid, doesn't make the experience less valuable. The experience is very valuable. In your cover letter, emphasize the rewards of volunteering and your interaction with others. It gives the employer an idea about your interpersonal skills, which are an asset in the workplace.

  • 1 decade ago

    DO NOT LIE!!!

    Tell the truth about volunteering. Volunteering gives you a lot of experience, for example people skills (communication). In today's environment people skills are worth a lot of money. And remember DO NOT point out your negatives "I lack work experience in a corporate setting" DO point out your positives.

    Good luck

    Source(s): life
  • Anne
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    Put the name of the place where you volunteered on your resume - if they already have your current resume, I would say that I spent the year volunteering.

    By the way, I wouldn't mention the grad school because companies will think that you aren't there for the long haul.

    Good luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    You said that you have been an "active volunteer". Be prepared to tell them the volunteer work that you have done, the experiences that you have had, and how the experience can be applied to the position you are seeking.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    It's true! You need to lie. I'm not kidding. Volunteering definately qualifies to be on your resume. And definately express your eagerness to work in the corporate setting. honestly, resumes barely matter anymore. People want to work with other people they click with that they can stand seeing on a daily basis. You've got nothin' to lose (literally) if you tell them you'd been looking for work that year. If they like you then you REALLY have no worries. Kick a**!

  • mark
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Say you took time off doing exactly what you were doing.

    I took some time to work on a private business venture while doing some volunteer work and planning my graduate studies.

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