Tuesday

Explaining a Gap in Employment

OPINION
I am looking for a new nanny job but I am stumped on how to explain a 9 month hole in my resume. I know my previous employers will probably tell them that I got married because I let it be known that I was getting married earlier this year. I am too embarrassed to go back and tell them or my future employers that my marriage fell apart because I caught him cheating on me with quite a few men after being married (and probably before hand but I didn't catch him until after the marriage). I have already gotten an annulment and for the most part gotten over the emotional part but how do I explain the gap or if my past employers bring up my marriage? I feel like the truth will turn most parents off of having me as their nanny. I don't know what to do. - Anonymous

14 comments:

Lyn said...

Oh OP! I'm so sorry for you. I'm glad to hear things are starting to sting less and that you're trying to move on. My heart goes out to you. What you've been trough will make you stronger in time. Again, SO sorry.

As for the 9 month gap. I think I'd tell a quiet version of the truth. You needed to take some time to deal with a personal family situation and didn't feel like you were able to give 100% of yourself to a new family until a few months ago, and by then you were waiting to meet the 'right' family. Truthfully, in my experience a 6 month gap in Nanny employment isn't very rare because the job is so personal it may take a while to find the "right" family for you. So the family you are interviewing with may not even ask you about it.

You could be open and let the family know that the gap was taken because you were getting an annulment, but I really don't think that's necessary. Or any of their business to be honest. Hopefully you won't get the 3rd degree about your nuptials.

I, again, am so sorry for the hard time you must have had to go through. But you will rise above it honey. Good luck to you in your job search. And always remember, the 'right' family is out there and will hire you solely based on your abilities to take care of their children. Not on your personal life. They just may take a smidge more time to find.

MissMannah said...

Lyn is absolutely right, your marriage and annulment is none of their business. If they ask about it, just say "It didn't work out" and refuse to answer further questions.

Caring Mom All Day said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Aletheia said...

I'm so sorry OP, and I'm glad to hear you're healing from that experience. You do NOT have to explain it even if someone asks-- just say you were dealing with a family matter, as Lyn and Mannah suggested. I would probably call your previous employers and just tell them a simple version-- it didn't work out, it was painful, and you'd rather not discuss it with potential employers, so would they please just not mention the marriage in any references? That depends on your relationship with your previous employers, of course, but if they are willing to provide a good reference, I would imagine you left on good terms and they would want to help you out. Good luck in your search!

oh well said...

There are a million reasons why a marriage can fall apart. If potential employers learn that you were married and you tell them that it did not work out, I don't see why they would need to know more (you should definitely keep the details to yourself) or why they would hold it against you. Plus nine months is really not that much. If they do not know that you got married, then mentioning family matters should be sufficient.

bridge that gap said...

Google for a list of good reasons to have a gap in employment. Pick one as long as its not dishonest. I wouldn't worry to much about the interviewer finding out.

She will never know.

NannyKim said...

I just got a new job after a 7 month gap. I had some personal issues I was dealing with as well. After getting the "what have you been doing for the last 7 months" question at interviews, I changed my approach a bit. Instead of listing the dates on my resume, I listed amount of time. Example: instead of working for Mrs. X from 9/2007 to 8/2010, I worked for Mrs. X for 3 years. Make sure to include all of your years of experience, and have good references. I found it easier to explain I recently took some time to deal with personal issues, but that I have several years of experience, and am ready to find a great fit with the right family.
Best of luck to you, 9 months is a small hiccup in an overall work history, especially, as Lyn said, in the nanny field, and the right family will not care anyhow. You dont need to divulge your reasons to anyone.

ericsmom said...

Tell them you won a small lottery. With that money you backpacked thru Europe

Melanie Raye Castor said...

I am so sorry to hear about your marriage...that is so sad, my heart aches for you.

I think saying that you were dealing with personal issues should suffice.

♥ Amy Darling ♥ said...

First and foremost, I want to say a huge "I am so sorry" for your unfortunate situation. {{HUGS}} ☺

I would just tell new prospective families that you stopped working because you got married and your new husband supported you. Then state that due to "unfortunate circumstances" the marriage didn't work out and now you are back in the job market again.

Simple.

Caring Mom All Day said...

I have encouraging news. I just found my ideal gig after taking a fews YEARS off. I guess in one way its easier because people expect a mom to stay at home. But there are many reasons why a nanny wouldn't be working.

I've only been on two interviews. The first one, I readily spoke about my time off as a nanny. The second one, the job I choose, I never brought it up. Not as an effort to conceal it, but simply because it never came up.

You could do what I suggested & only list the month and year you started a job, one would just naturally assume you worked it until the next listed job. BUT if you did not, you are not being dishonest about it. The information you're sharing is accurate. I also like the idea of listing the duration. Another tactic you can use is to load up the interviewer on paperwork. It will be so distracting that she probably won't even notice, especially if you're vague on the references. You can provide her with; a copy of your ID, a copy of your degrees, certificates, background check, CPR certificate, first aid certificate, letters of recommendation, etc. You could even bring a photobook or scrapbook of your past charges, if available. I doubt anyone would want to talk about the duration of your previous employment, unless there's not too much to talk about. Its only nine months. So even if it did come up, its nothing IMO! IME nannies are a unique in the way that we do not always have charges. We can go for weeks, months or years without working. Nanny gigs usually last a couple of years. And many nannies, such as myself, won't take a job just to have one. We can be selective of pay, ages, hours, etc. I seriously would not worry!! I know those nine months were traumatic for you and a lot happened for you during that time. But really for the rest of us, those nine months were a very short period of time.

Its okay to have a gap, but try not to focus on it, if it comes up say something like, "I had saved up & planned to take some time off. I enjoyed it and I'm ready to get back to work. I've missed working!" Keep it 100% positive! You have NOTHING to fear or be shamed of. Were all behind you!!

MissMannah said...

Kim, I think that is a great idea. It is making the resume look better without telling lies.

EastBay Nanny said...

This idea is a well-known red flag in the corporate sector. Would not fly, and as many parents work in this environment, I personally prefer to be clear about dates, even though there are holes, etc in my resume. I have nothing to hide. If there are questions, I answer them. Not all jobs work out. *shrug* I always think of something Steve Jobs once said about intentionally hiring someone who was not successful in a previous job because it means that they are risk takers. I definitely identify with that thought. However, I would caution against accepting a job that you feel might be a risk by taking it. Not worth it!

Future Nurse :) said...

I second everyone here, I am so sorry for you, this had to be the most painful experience in your life. I definitely think you should use the short and sweet explanation of things didn't work out, and I wanted to make sure I worked through everything before starting a new relationship with ANYONE, including a nanny relationship. If they ask further you could say something like I'm working on letting it go in order to get over the pain, and therefore I don't like discussing it anymore. I think most potential employers will be sensitive to that, everyone has endured something horrible in their lifetime and didn't want to talk about it. I don't think it would turn people off to you, even nannies are human. I have also found that A LOT of parents are very responsive to you doing therapy, which makes sense because you are being proactive and getting help when needed. For example I have a really horrific family situation, and I do weekly therapy to kind of figure out how I fit into the dynamic. I have had to tell parents just because they wonder about weekly drs apts, and most of them think its amazing, and have expressed how great of a model for their children it is, to see someone who wants to change something take steps to change it. And if the parents don't want you as their nanny because of that.. then think about it! Would you really want to work for people like that? Great things are coming your way, its always the darkest right before dawn :)