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Should I communicate in my applications that I'm unemployed out of choice rather than because nobody will have me?

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( 3 months ago )

I've recently quit my grad school and I'm on a lookout for jobs. My CV seems to be in quite a high demand if the amount of calls from recruiters is anything to judge it by. I've not been employed for three months now and I'm taking this time to do some overdue travelling as well as working on personal projects.

Today in a call a recruiter mentioned that I might want to consider finding something fast because having this few months out of employment "raises some questions". Well, I'm sure it does - should I clarify the answers to those questions when I apply for new jobs?

If it's at all important, the main reason for me not having a job yet is that I'm quite picky in what kind of jobs I want. I have some red-lines when it comes to the industries I'd work for (ethical considerations), and locations/commute distance I'm interested in (work/life balance), as well as wanting to work on a product and with a team I can actually get behind. Combine that with my niche having openings less often than the rest of the industry and you end up with a long job search (which I'm fine with but I'm realising prospective employers might not be).



( 3 months ago )

Today in a call a recruiter mentioned that I might want to consider finding something fast because having this few months out of employment "raises some questions"

No it does not.

A "gap" only raises questions if it's a gap. If you worked from 2011-2016 and 2018-2019 and refuse to tell me what you did in between, that is a gap. It probably means a prison sentence, rehab or anything else a person would like to hide.

However finishing school and then touring the world because you will never be that independent and free again is not a gap. It's not secret. It's actually remarkably realistic.

So whatever you want to do, do it. And tell. I don't mind seeing a CV with 6 months of travelling Australia or something. Do it now, so you don't have to regret not doing it, or somehow trying to do it while working for me.

However, be prepared to tell. If you cannot tell or have nothing interesting to tell, people will think you hide something. So for example travelling Australia is great. Telling me you binge-watched Netflix specials for 6 months because your mom paid the rent and food and you could is not impressive.

So it boils down to: do interesting stuff that you can put on your CV, even if only as a single headline ("2019 - Toured Australia and South America") to explain a perceived gap. Or get a job. But you certainly don't need a job as an excuse if you have interesting stuff to do instead.

Disclaimer: "Australia" from my point of view is the other side of the planet. If by any chance you are from Australia, maybe pick another target to "see the world".

what's your interest