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Would it be okay to put “Freelancer / Self-Employed” to cover up 2 years of unemployment gap after graduating college?

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Jignesh Patel

User

( 5 months ago )


I was wondering if I should include any text on my resume and LinkedIn for reasons to why I was not working 2 years after graduating college. And if I should, how should I phrase it other than "being depressed and felt like my skills and past projects were not good enough to apply for a job" on my resume.

My backstory: after graduating I took 2 years time off due to being unmotivated to find a job after looking at job requirements and thinking I won't get hired when comparing my design portfolio to my peers. I took that time to overcome depression and laziness to refine my skills and my design portfolio. I'm now confident to start job searching even starting freelance in order to transition to full-time. Would it be wise to put "freelancer/Self-employed" during that time on my resume even though I didn't actually do that?

On a side note, I just got hired for a freelance contract position at a big marketing and consulting company working with a well-known brand even though I didn't explain the gap or include freelancer on my resume during the interview. That's why I'm considering putting freelancer or self-employed to cover up the long break since I just got hired as a freelancer and use that as a cover-up with the work I'm going to do.

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Priya Roy

User

( 5 months ago )


No, it's not OK. It's a flat out lie, and if some potential employer makes the entirely reasonable request to see evidence that you were paid for your work, you're going to get caught out.

Indeed, the main reason gaps in your employment history look bad is because they're lies of omission. So long as you can put something down that you can back up - even if it's a year-long backpacking holiday - at least a future employer can safely conclude that you didn't have a string of bad jobs from which you got the sack, spend the time in jail, or worse.

Obviously, you still want to be selling the positives though, so perhaps try retconning that period into one where you made a dedicated push towards bridging the gap between the skills you graduated with and what was needed for you to get paid work. So long as you can produce quality work and come across as confident now, I doubt anyone's going to question that version of events, but it certainly sounds a lot better than the first version you gave us.

what's your interest


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