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I'm a web developer and left my last position 10 months ago. It was extremely toxic and damaging to my health. I paid off all my debt and saved up about year's worth of living expenses.

My plan was to explore entrepreneurship (pet projects and/or freelancing), expand my knowledge (including non-technical things), and....well...just take some much-needed time off.

I started some pet projects but haven't quite got to point of being able to make anything into a business (all a learning process). I also did some brief freelancing before I realized that going back to 9-5 for a bit makes most sense financially for now.

Anyways..was wondering how to best address this gap on my resume. I don't think this is too uncommon in my field. Especially post-pandemic, great resignation era, and for people my age (I'm 30). I also imagine it's common for other devs to get burnt out and quit to attempt entrepreneurship. So..I'm not overly concerned about this, but I acknowledge some companies will see it as a red flag and may use it as an excuse to send lowball offers. Most companies will probably ask what I've been doing in my spare time (and I can just be honest there).

My current resume format has a brief bio about me. I was thinking maybe I can add 2-3 sentences here about my time off and exploring entrepreneurship and expanding knowledge. Any insights?

The part of my resume about actual job history will have ended in 4/2022. How should I address this gap then? I was thinking I can add some bullet points about the project I worked on and of some of the work I did for freelancing (this was literally like a week but I figure it can still occupy a bullet point). I suppose I could also leave this last part blank as my intro paragraph (and possible cover letter) can explain my sabbatical.

I understand this is entirely opinionated and so I'd like to hear thoughts from people who've done something similar and employers who deal with resumes like this.

Any tips on how to verbally explain this in interviews would be great too. Not entirely concerned about this because I can tell the truth. I've actually done this several times in some interviews I've done during the sabbatical.

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    Please add a country tag to your question. Some of the advice you got is really wrong to the point of being counter-productive for the country I live in, but they are experienced people and I'm very confident that it is very good advice for their country. The fact that neither you nor they stated their country makes answers practically worthless for you, because you have no idea if that answer is great advice, applicable to you in your country, or if doing so will just make it worse.
    – nvoigt
    Feb 23, 2023 at 6:46
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    You don't address it unless somebody asks about it. The interview is not done by the person who wants to write your biography.
    – Neil Meyer
    Feb 24, 2023 at 16:54
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    You fill the gap with words to the effect that: "I started some pet projects but haven't quite got to point of being able to make anything into a business (all a learning process). I also did some brief freelancing before I realized that going back to 9-5 for a bit makes most sense financially for now" Feb 26, 2023 at 11:55

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Add a section to your resume with a company name like LastName Consulting or LastName Solutions. (You didn't incorporate a company with that name? So what! The entity of "you trying some stuff, for various reasons" is a real thing that existed. The name you use makes it obvious that it was just you doing "the entrepreneur thing".) If you feel that is lying, then instead of a company name, use a lower-case phrase like "exploring entrepreneurship" or "various projects".

It is nobody's business how much revenue that entity brought in over the year, what products it shipped, or how many hours a week you put into it. List what you did just as you would for any other job. If you did ship anything or contribute to something, mention that. Explain the year, what you did and learned, how you grew, as you would for any other resume entry..

When someone asks why you want a job if you were running your own business, answer the truth. That might be "getting a steady revenue is way harder than web development" or "there are some way fun projects out here that you can't do as a solo operator" or whatever your truth is.

You have no gap. You did something for a year. Now you know that you would like to do something different, namely work for this company that is interviewing you. Focus on that as you answer questions.

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    While I second the "put something in, don't leave a gap" idea, making up a company name sounds kind of shady. If I were the interviewer and asked something innocent about the CV like "oh, so you founded your own company?" and the person has to say "uh, well, not really, see..." then I will wonder what else on their CV was more artistic freedom then fact.
    – nvoigt
    Feb 23, 2023 at 6:50
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    I'd call that gap a "sabbatical", maybe with a note "Exploring entrepreneurship".
    – orithena
    Feb 23, 2023 at 11:33
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    Gregory Consulting started in 1986. Gregory Consulting Limited was incorporated in 1989. It was a real company with revenue before it was incorporated. It had a bank account and customers. I understand OP's entity is a little looser than that, but anyone who wants to claim without incorporation you didn't found a business will have me to answer to. Feb 23, 2023 at 12:33
  • @KateGregory I don't neccessarily care about incorporation, maybe "founded your own company" was too naive wording in my comment. Where I live, if you have revenue, you need a tax id for your business. It cannot run on your private citizen id. So whether you decide to incorporate or run a freelancer business, if you write an invoice, you need to register with the authorities. If they did this, then it is a fact they can talk about, if they didn't, then "Lastname consulting" is a dream if you want to be positive, a straight lie if you want to be negative about it.
    – nvoigt
    Feb 23, 2023 at 13:52
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    @user2402616 If you worked on some pet projects that never reached a point they could bring in revenue, then that's still you developing commercial projects in private enterprise - it just didn't work out (which is not uncommon). While I wouldn't necessarily describe it as a consultancy, you can definitely describe it as an exploratory phase of trying to put together a startup or something. Look at it this way - if you'd hit on something very valuable, you would probably be selling it now instead of applying for jobs. Just because it 'failed' doesn't mean it wasn't a real attempt.
    – Dakeyras
    Feb 23, 2023 at 17:44
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I suppose I could also leave this last part blank as my intro paragraph (and possible cover letter) can explain my sabbatical.

Yeah I think this is something more adequate for a Cover letter or well during interviews.

My current resume format has a brief bio about me. I was thinking maybe I can add 2-3 sentences here about my time off and exploring entrepreneurship and expanding knowledge. Any insights?

Makes sense, you could include it there, as it's not work experience per se but relevant nonetheless. Still, a better place would be in a Cover Letter and explaining it during interviews (only if asked).

Any tips on how to verbally explain this in interviews would be great too. Not entirely concerned about this because I can tell the truth.

Exactly, just tell the truth and keep it concise and to the point (no intricate explanations needed). Again, do this only when/if they ask about the gap. A phrasing that comes to mind: "I used this time to do some freelancing, to try some personal projects and to expand my knowledge on technical and non-technical things."

Good luck with the job-search!

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Anyways..was wondering how to best address this gap on my resume.

Gaps aren't something you address in a resume.

During an interview it sounds like you should say that you didn't like your job and decided to quit, to explore entrepreneurship, expand your knowledge, and take time off.

Then be prepared to explain why you will stick around your new job for a while and not just leave once your pet projects get developed further. Hiring managers will be concerned about that, so it's best to address it head on.

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