Job interviews are a stressful deal, especially when you’re going back to the workforce after taking a break, for whatever reason that may be. Now, we all have our struggles in life and no path is the same. The same goes for taking a gap from whatever activity in your life, be it university or a job—we all have our reasons, and they’re all valid.
Apparently, some people who are going to job interviews find the questions about resume gaps “infuriating.” The discussion began on Twitter when one young woman shared her opinion about the need to explain resume gaps in a job interview.
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A thread on Twitter has gone viral where people point out that asking about resume gaps in interviews is unethical
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Assuming you have experience in attending job interviews (because not everyone does), which question do you find the most annoying? Unethical, maybe? Apparently, for some people, it’s the request to explain gaps in your resume.
The now-viral discussion was sparked by a young woman on Twitter under the username @skhndh. In her tweet, she shared how she finds the request to explain the gap in her resume “infuriating.”
“Maybe something catastrophic happened? Why do you have to share intimate personal details to justify non-productive/non-labouring periods of your literal human existence,” her tweet continued. The post was met with wide approval, having amassed over 179k likes in just a few days.
The now-viral discussion began on Twitter
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Many people were quick to agree with the original post
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When discussing gaps in resumes, most people were on the same page—they felt like the question is not something they enjoyed answering due to their own, personal reasons.
“I don’t really want to explain…” one Twitter user wrote, sharing how their resume gap was due to a “total mental breakdown.” Another woman shared how her gap came from the time her parents died within a 3-month period. According to her, having to explain it in interviews feels “gross and exploitive.”
One Twitter user went even further and described the request to explain the gap as “ableist.” “Like no I don’t want to explain my history of major depression to you so you can further discriminate against me,” they continued in their tweet.
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“Having to explain it in interviews is gross and exploitive”
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“This [crap] is so ableist”
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One Twitter user felt that the policing of personal lives in job interviews might go to even more extreme lengths. “This will soon trickle down to ‘why is there a gap in your dating life?’ OR even ‘why is there a gap in your married life (read: child-bearing)’ you need to move along a timeline that has been set by the society and you need to be answerable to them if you are not,” they wrote sarcastically.
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“Puts you in the situation of either lie to protect your privacy or tell the truth and risk prejudice”
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Others shared tactics on what to do when you’re told to explain the resume gap
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Some people in the discussion had ideas about how to handle the “infuriating” question.
“I think candidates should flip it and start asking how long the job has been vacant and why,” one young woman tweeted. Another user was pretty blunt: “Lie!” they wrote. “Employers don’t want to hear about your depression/mental health or sickness because it makes you look unreliable.”
One young woman, however, had different ideas of how to go about the request to explain the gaps. “The best way to handle this question is to explain your situation and follow it up with the skills you’ve acquired during that period. If you have internet access, you can do online courses and mention that to show that you’ve been productive,” she wrote. Her thought wasn’t met very enthusiastically on the viral Twitter thread.
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Some shared their sad experiences related to professional gaps
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While some people shared how they handled the question previously in their lives
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What do you think? Do you find potential employers’ requests to explain gaps in your resume unethical or annoying? If so, how would you handle it (or maybe you have in the past)? Share in the comments down below!