So, I applied to a company, but only listed years in my resume. I was fired from my last job (which I was at for slightly less than 6 months) about 8 months ago.

I organised an overseas trip and I was away for a few months. I haven't done anything related to my career apart from two small projects.

One of their HR people asked me before about the months, which I emailed to them. I didn't hear back from then, but two months later I learned that my application had been submitted to another position. I then had a phone interview, where I surprisingly wasn't. I then had a phone conversation with HR talking about arranging an on-site interview, where they asked me for dates that I am free and also to send information about the months and any gap greater than 3 months. Apparently, they hadn't been forwarded the months.

  1. Any advice about what I should say for this gap?
  2. Should I just send the dates, or should I pre-emptively let them know that I was fired and why? Obviously, I'd prefer to be asked during an interview, rather than over email, but when they run on-site interviews, it's typically about half-a-day. That is a big time commitment, so they may ask over email.
  • It depends what they asked about the Months/gaps. Always be honest, but be positive. Expect to be asked about being fired and how you used this time; think hard about good reasons to give. Explain why your choices of what to do show you're a good candidate for the new job.
    – AndrewC
    Commented Nov 6, 2012 at 12:15
  • also to send information about the months and any gap greater than 3 months. Apparently, they hadn't been forwarded the months. this doesn't make sense. If they knew to ask about the time, they clearly were forwarded the months (or at least knew enough to ask).
    – enderland
    Commented Nov 6, 2012 at 13:04
  • @enderland - This is a standard background check. What they are mostly looking for is time spent in jail, or jobs you worked but did not declare. These are red flags in back ground checks. Commented Nov 6, 2012 at 14:53

1 Answer 1


I think the way to approach this is to honestly answer the question you've been asked. That answer could be along the lines of "after leaving my last position, I took the opportunity for some travel, and then did some volunteer work for a couple of non-profits." How that gap will be perceived may also depend on your employment history before your last gig - if you have one 8-month gig after a series of longer stints, it may get written off as an outlier.

They may or may not get around to asking why you left your previous position, and you'll want to make sure you have a good response to that. But they haven't asked you yet, and unless you think the answer makes you look really good, you don't need to answer that question yet.

  • 1
    Why does everyone mention volunteer work as part of a gap period? Seriously, it's as if is the only thing worth doing, just because it looks good on your resume
    – maria
    Commented Apr 12, 2014 at 23:33

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