Job history gaps ? Is there still hope ?

brooklynkid's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 5

I've been unemployed for about 8 months now and my previous position was a temp role in operations at a top 3 credit rating agency for 6 months and before that I had a 2 year unemployment gap ( traded stocks and options) after graduating from a non target school with no internship experience. So far I've been able to land about 5 interviews in the 8 month span. I have been using temp agencies and also applying for full time positions mainly in operations/admin, middle office/back office. I fear that this job history gap is a major flaw in my search to enter the corporate financial services industry. Is there any advice anyone can give me on improving my chances of landing a role ?

Find Your Mentor

  • Increase your chance of landing a job by matching with one of our 200+ mentors.
  • Our mentors are top employees at the most selective firms.
  • Proven process with over 1,100 clients over 10 years.

Comments (27)

Jan 25, 2015

Sounds like you have had a job for about 6 months out of the last 3+ years. Is that right?

Have you been without a job since you graduated from undergrad?

Jan 25, 2015

Just the 6 month temp role at a top 3 credit rating agency

Jan 25, 2015
brooklynkid:

Just the 6 month temp role at a top 3 credit rating agency. Good news, I'm waiting to hear back from a client services rep position at a top credit rating agency and a upcoming interview with JPM for a client operation analyst position.

Aug 13, 2015

You just have to keep grinding man!

Jan 24, 2016

Thanks, I found a temp role within compliance, and I moved to a permanent Ops position within Asset Management at a BB.

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Mar 9, 2016

Congratulations!!! So glad it worked out for you!!

    • 1
Mar 9, 2016

You can certainly ask about the interviewer's background and most of the time they will mention some previous jobs. After that, you can follow up by asking why he decided the join the current firm. Would refrain from asking why he left other jobs, as he could have been fired or some other reason he's wouldn't want to share.

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Mar 9, 2016

No one will care. It's not a gap in which you were unemployable... you just took some time before stating a masters. You are worrying about nothing. People quit jobs early all the time before starting MBAs or whatever; had several friends in banking / consulting leave and go travel for a few months before heading back to school

Mar 9, 2016

Gap is short and justifiable. I wouldn't worry about it if I were interviewing you - story seems consistent.

Mar 9, 2016

Thanks for the quick responses; much appreciated.

Mar 9, 2016

Do an online internship.

    • 1
Mar 9, 2016

If they notice a long gap in job history just say for 22 years you went Kerouac on everyone's ass, I heard it worked out well for a couple guys.

'I'm jacked... JACKED TO THE TITS!!'

    • 1
Mar 9, 2016

Just say that you received a job offer but it fell through.

    • 3
Mar 9, 2016

Thanks for your answer.

But I think a follow-up question they're going to ask if I just say the offer fell through is that whether I've actually signed the contract before quitting, which I haven't.

At this moment, it really doesn't matter if I had or not from a personal perspective because it fell through anyhow, but I just don't want to come across as sloppy or stupid for the decision I've made. Also, if I had actually signed the contract and the offer fell through, then I at least have some legal rights to raise serious complaints to the company, which in this case I have none.

If asked, should I just explain this situation as the way it really happened, or say that the offer was not extended after I signed the contract?

Best Response
Mar 9, 2016

You could say that you told your last company that before quitting so that they could hire and train a new employee for your place and make a smooth transition between the two companies with no hard feelings.

Edited: horrible misspeling

    • 5
Mar 9, 2016

This. You are young, not one is going to hold it against you for being naive. As stated above, make it sound like you're a team player and gave notice to help your prior group. Got caught in an unfortunate incident. Don't really place blame so much as say it was just bad luck/timing. Don't say you got trigger happy and quit early. "HR made me an offer. Given our lean team I told my bosses and put in my notice to help in the transition. Unfortunately, a week or so later I was notified by HR that because of internal budget constraints they were going to have to rescind the offer. The ball was already in motion at my prior firm and maintaining my seat was off the table. While, obviously a less than ideal situation, I think it highlights my team first mentality that I will bring to your firm." Seems like a pretty easy story to follow once you get in front of someone.

    • 1
Mar 9, 2016
20focla:

Thanks for your answer.

But I think a follow-up question they're going to ask if I just say the offer fell through is that whether I've actually signed the contract before quitting, which I haven't.

At this moment, it really doesn't matter if I had or not from a personal perspective because it fell through anyhow, but I just don't want to come across as sloppy or stupid for the decision I've made. Also, if I had actually signed the contract and the offer fell through, then I at least have some legal rights to raise serious complaints to the company, which in this case I have none.

If asked, should I just explain this situation as the way it really happened, or say that the offer was not extended after I signed the contract?

Employment is at-will. An employment contract is utterly irrelevant--at best, a contract would have guaranteed you some compensation. But you are never, ever guaranteed the right to be employed. Not even professional athletes with ridiculous contracts receive the right to play.

Mar 9, 2016

No one is going to ask you whether or not you had a signed offer. Say that you got an offer and quit your job. The new company basically screwed you. You can say they pulled the offer due to budget or department restructuring, etc. and left you in the lurch because you'd already quit.

Mar 9, 2016

[/embed]

    • 2
Mar 9, 2016

I'd make a regular resume and mention the situation to your headhunter. They normally include a short note in candidate profiles where they can present this information.

Mar 9, 2016