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When is an employment gap worth explaining?

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When is an employment gap worth explaining?  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2017, 20:02
I've heard/read different things with respect to the length of the gap - for example if it's 3+ months or 6+ months then an explanation is needed but not if less. Does anyone have any guidance on this with respect to bschool applications?

On one of my application forms so far, I was asked to explain any gaps in employment (it didn't specify the length) and it didn't appear to be a required question. I have two 2 month gaps - one a year and half ago and the other 3 years ago - should I still answer this or is 2 months not really considered a major gap worth an explanation?

And on other applications where it's not directly asked in the form itself, it's often mentioned as a suggested topic for the optional essay. Must I address it even though it's only 2 months?

Thanks!


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ARLee Consulting
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Re: When is an employment gap worth explaining? [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2017, 20:33
Hi JAE18,

this is a very interesting question.

Besides being an admissions consultant, I'm also an HR Professional, my last position being Head of HR for one of Samsung Electronics' biggest subsidiaries. Therefore I will answer this question from both perspectives.

An employment gap must always be addressed. If I was interviewing someone for a position at my firm with an employment gap (even if it's only 2 months), the first thing that could come to my mind is: "was this person laid off at this company?. If so, why?", and I will definitely ask the candidate to explain what happened.

Being laid off is something very common and nothing to be ashamed of (it happens to everyone), but from an MBA admissions perspective it could show that you have not been in control of all decisions in your life. It is very different going from company A to company B because that is what you decided to do in order to achieve your career goals, than going from company A to company B because you were laid off at A and found nothing else but B. This is an extreme example, by the way, just to make a point.

Therefore, I would advise you to justify your employment gaps, and when possible, explain them in a way that shows it was something you wanted and part of your plan.

I hope this helps.

Good luck!
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Re: When is an employment gap worth explaining? [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2017, 20:47
Hi Alex - yes this helped a lot.

Is it necessary to mention what i did during the 2 months (volunteering, attending professional development workshops Etc) or is just explaining the gap sufficient?

Thanks!


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ARLee Consulting
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Re: When is an employment gap worth explaining? [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2017, 20:56
Hi JAE18,

I'm glad it helped.

Yeah, of course. Explain what you did if you feel it will strengthen your candidacy. Volunteering work, professional workshops,.. these are good examples of development and willingness to help your community.
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Alex Ruiz Lee, INSEAD MBA'11D & Admissions Interviewer
ARLee Consulting - Founder and Managing Director
MBA Admissions & Career Coach
HR Executive Director

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Email: alex@arleeconsulting.com | alex@ruizlee.es
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LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/alexruizlee/

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Re: When is an employment gap worth explaining? [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2017, 21:23
Got it, thank you!


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Re: When is an employment gap worth explaining? [#permalink]

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New post 26 Dec 2017, 22:13
JAE18 wrote:
I've heard/read different things with respect to the length of the gap - for example if it's 3+ months or 6+ months then an explanation is needed but not if less. Does anyone have any guidance on this with respect to bschool applications?

On one of my application forms so far, I was asked to explain any gaps in employment (it didn't specify the length) and it didn't appear to be a required question. I have two 2 month gaps - one a year and half ago and the other 3 years ago - should I still answer this or is 2 months not really considered a major gap worth an explanation?

And on other applications where it's not directly asked in the form itself, it's often mentioned as a suggested topic for the optional essay. Must I address it even though it's only 2 months?

Thanks!


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If your employment gaps comes between extremely high peer rankings, promotions etc, it is not necessary to justify. Many people take a few months of backpacking vacations these days between demanding jobs.

On the other hand, if your employment gap comes between jobs where you were not doing so well, it is not advised to justify, for the same reasons that Alex detailed below.

Yet, if you chose to justify a month/two of gap, and highlighted a volunteering assignment done between two jobs, it will almost certainly look like a bad cover-up. Passion for volunteering (or achievements thereof) can hardly be a month/two long.

My suggestion: Unless it jumps out, don't talk about your gaps. If you have to, take a different route.
Feel free to connect for a personalized evaluation and details.
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Re: When is an employment gap worth explaining? [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2017, 07:19
TheIvyLeagueEdge wrote:
JAE18 wrote:
I've heard/read different things with respect to the length of the gap - for example if it's 3+ months or 6+ months then an explanation is needed but not if less. Does anyone have any guidance on this with respect to bschool applications?

On one of my application forms so far, I was asked to explain any gaps in employment (it didn't specify the length) and it didn't appear to be a required question. I have two 2 month gaps - one a year and half ago and the other 3 years ago - should I still answer this or is 2 months not really considered a major gap worth an explanation?

And on other applications where it's not directly asked in the form itself, it's often mentioned as a suggested topic for the optional essay. Must I address it even though it's only 2 months?

Thanks!


Sent from my iPhone using GMAT Club Forum mobile app


If your employment gaps comes between extremely high peer rankings, promotions etc, it is not necessary to justify. Many people take a few months of backpacking vacations these days between demanding jobs.

On the other hand, if your employment gap comes between jobs where you were not doing so well, it is not advised to justify, for the same reasons that Alex detailed below.

Yet, if you chose to justify a month/two of gap, and highlighted a volunteering assignment done between two jobs, it will almost certainly look like a bad cover-up. Passion for volunteering (or achievements thereof) can hardly be a month/two long.

My suggestion: Unless it jumps out, don't talk about your gaps. If you have to, take a different route.
Feel free to connect for a personalized evaluation and details.


Hello - thanks for the feedback.

As it was a specific question (although I don't believe a required one) on one of the application forms I thought I may have to answer it or it would look suspicious if I don't?

Can you clarify what you mean by taking a different route? What might that be exactly?




Sent from my iPhone using GMAT Club Forum mobile app
Admission Consultant
User avatar
G
Status: Application Consultant
Affiliations: IvyLeagueEdge
Joined: 13 Jul 2016
Posts: 272
Location: India
Concentration: Strategy, Marketing
Schools: Yale (A)
GMAT 1: 740 Q47 V44
WE: Operations (Other)
Re: When is an employment gap worth explaining? [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2017, 09:38
JAE18 wrote:
TheIvyLeagueEdge wrote:
JAE18 wrote:
I've heard/read different things with respect to the length of the gap - for example if it's 3+ months or 6+ months then an explanation is needed but not if less. Does anyone have any guidance on this with respect to bschool applications?

On one of my application forms so far, I was asked to explain any gaps in employment (it didn't specify the length) and it didn't appear to be a required question. I have two 2 month gaps - one a year and half ago and the other 3 years ago - should I still answer this or is 2 months not really considered a major gap worth an explanation?

And on other applications where it's not directly asked in the form itself, it's often mentioned as a suggested topic for the optional essay. Must I address it even though it's only 2 months?

Thanks!


Sent from my iPhone using GMAT Club Forum mobile app


If your employment gaps comes between extremely high peer rankings, promotions etc, it is not necessary to justify. Many people take a few months of backpacking vacations these days between demanding jobs.

On the other hand, if your employment gap comes between jobs where you were not doing so well, it is not advised to justify, for the same reasons that Alex detailed below.

Yet, if you chose to justify a month/two of gap, and highlighted a volunteering assignment done between two jobs, it will almost certainly look like a bad cover-up. Passion for volunteering (or achievements thereof) can hardly be a month/two long.

My suggestion: Unless it jumps out, don't talk about your gaps. If you have to, take a different route.
Feel free to connect for a personalized evaluation and details.


Hello - thanks for the feedback.

As it was a specific question (although I don't believe a required one) on one of the application forms I thought I may have to answer it or it would look suspicious if I don't?

Can you clarify what you mean by taking a different route? What might that be exactly?




Sent from my iPhone using GMAT Club Forum mobile app


There are many different ways. Please pm me your resume and the gaps that you are talking about. Happy to discuss for your specific situation.
_________________

Worked in US & India, Located in New Delhi, Clients from World over

For a DETAILED & FREE profile evaluation PM your resume.

Out of India? Use your Google/Skype account for free VOIP

"+1 Kudos" to appreciate :-)

The Ivy League Edge (MBA - Yale SOM)
Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/balkrishna/
Top20.GradSchools(at)gmail(dot)com +91-987-356-3953

Coaching success for admissions and scholarships to the World's best - MBA and MS
We take PERSONAL interest in your success.

Manager
Manager
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Joined: 31 Oct 2017
Posts: 66
Schools: Tepper '20 (A)
Reviews Badge
Re: When is an employment gap worth explaining? [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2017, 10:06
Sure will do, thanks!


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Re: When is an employment gap worth explaining? [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2018, 00:47
Hey!

I will potentially be in a situation where I need to leave my job to move to another country. If the gap between leaving my job and sending my applications is 2 months, will that negatively impact my applications? And what if I remain employed till I send the applications out and move post that, does being unemployed during interviews hurt my chances? My target schools are mostly in the top 15
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Re: When is an employment gap worth explaining? [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2018, 05:39
talz94 wrote:
Hey!

I will potentially be in a situation where I need to leave my job to move to another country. If the gap between leaving my job and sending my applications is 2 months, will that negatively impact my applications? And what if I remain employed till I send the applications out and move post that, does being unemployed during interviews hurt my chances? My target schools are mostly in the top 15


Hi talz94,

Ideally, you must remain in your job until the interview is over for it could have a negative impact on your application. In any case, in most situations, the period between submitting your applications and receiving an interview call is not a very long one and we would recommend that you do not quit at that juncture :-) Of course, if you do choose to do so, you will need to come up with a compelling reason for the same.

All the best!
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Re: When is an employment gap worth explaining?   [#permalink] 30 May 2018, 05:39
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