Explaining a Gap in My Resume

I am going back to work after an 8 year gap of staying at home. I was at home caring for a family member. I worked as receptionist, office manager and have used switchboards. What I need is advice on what to say during interview for the gap in employment. All tips welcome.

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Sandy from Springfield, MO

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September 19, 20060 found this helpful

Tell the truth! Make sure that you "break down" the experience of caring for a family member at home into the skills used and obtained, so that you will be able to name them. E.g. management, whatever. be confident - this is not lack of experience. Good luck!

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September 19, 20060 found this helpful

I would think that rather than have a gap on your resume, that you should put down the dates and that you were caregiver; I would list the responsibilities that you had during that time. It may not have been financially gainful employment but it was work with responsibilities and shows that you are a dependable individual. Tell the truth, be proud of who you are and all that you have done! Good luck in your job hunting.

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September 19, 20060 found this helpful

I agree with more or less telling the truth. People do work as caregivers professionally - so that's what you were doing - & nowadays they like resumes with tasks in them - so if you were involved in financial management, dealing with insurance companies and government agencies, etc. Put that all in. You have actually probably acquired skills past those which you had in the past. You probably were on the phone a lot. Do you have computer skills? Probably - you are submitting on the internet - All these skills COUNT in today's market! Just try to think like an employer - what do they want to hear? And funnel your experience through that lens.

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September 20, 20060 found this helpful

Tell the truth! I was a manager and had made many hiring decisions. Most employers do understand that the people take time off to have kids, take care of elderly parents etc. Lying is a definite no no, and trust me, the truth will come out eventually. Plus, employers who don't understand this, you probably don't want to work for anyway

Anna, NY

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September 20, 20060 found this helpful

Ditto to all the others...and list any self-study you did....reading related to job skills, keeping up with current developments in your field...

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September 20, 20060 found this helpful

I put on mine the dates when I was "at home" and next to it in the Job position I put "domestic engineer" and put different responsibilities I had such as scheduling, nursing, etc.

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September 20, 20060 found this helpful

I wouldn't put it on my resume - unless it were relevant to the type of job you were applying for. To explain the gap during an interview just simply tell them the truth. Something like this .... "I was fortunate to be in a position to take the time off to care for a family member. My previous employer was gracious and completely understanding and I was able to stay long enough to fully train my replacement."

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September 21, 20060 found this helpful

I never intended to LIE about staying at home, I just needed tips on how to word it so it would not

sound like a flake. I enjoyed my time off and caring for a family member made me realize what was really important in my life.

I was just unsure how to list it on dates of employment on my resume.

I do appreciate all the tips. I am not ashamed of

staying at home. It was the best thing I did for myself in a long time.

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February 27, 20090 found this helpful

What if the gaps involving just plain not finding work? I have no money for classes, for anything. There are no job fairs here. My time is spent looking through job websites, following leads online, and taking care of personal business.

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March 11, 20090 found this helpful

If you took care of your family member I think that is admirable. You may want to say that you are experienced at taking care of people's special needs. The experience you have would make you more aware of the detailed needs that the company might have than other prospective employees. A little spin would not hurt. Anyone who has a good family relationship usually has good work relations also. Have confidence.

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