I left my previous employer a couple of months ago. How do I explain the gap in my resume in an interview, or answer the question, "Why did you leave your previous position," if anyone asks? I've applied to graduate school as well as other jobs.

Right now, the only thing I can come up with is either, "personal reasons," or a lengthy explanation/list of all the small reasons that contributed to me leaving. I want to stay away from "management issues" too.

My question is similar to Leaving a new job to relocate for personal reasons?


I left my job because the work culture wasn't quite right from the start. It just got worse over time. One coworker was disrespectful to me every time he had to talk to me. He was going through some personal stuff and I notified HR that his personal issues were affecting me. That was the first red flag. I subscribe to the belief that if everyone is the problem, then the problem is you, but after over analyzing every social interaction I was having at work, I realized there was only so much I could do to change myself to fit into the environment.

I started sending out my resume after six months of working there. I got a call about every two months and noticed that in every interview, some kind of negativity was making its way into what I was saying. I got pretty depressed to the point where I didn't know what kept me from getting an offer, but I was certain depression wasn't helping. I decided that I had two options: stay at this job and damage my career and mental health, or quit and preserve my mental health regardless of how it affects my career.

I quit my job and results were as expected: I finished my graduate school applications, wrote killer statements of purpose, and sorted out all of my answers to every (nontechnical) interview question I've ever been asked.

Since then, I had an interview where the hiring manager was rather disrespectful. The point is, I'm still getting interviews, so there's some reason to be optimistic, but of course, that company in particular is exactly what I'm avoiding.

One of my concerns is that all my previous experience has been as an intern. Each internship lasted only a few months. With this full time position, I barely made it over a year. I know they're just internships, but I hope that doesn't count against me.

I'm still waiting for an interview for a position at a company , but I want to be prepared in case someone asks, "Why did you leave your previous position?"


Applying to grad school so I can work in a field I'm particularly interested in.

Applying to full time jobs in case I don't get into grad school.

Applying to internships assuming I've been accepted to grad school so I can keep working before the start of the semester, since those offers depend on current enrollment.

  • What do you mean by "rather disrespectful" here?
    – Pepone
    Jan 6 '16 at 21:51
  • Is that an acceptable answer? I'm afraid it raises a red flag. Jan 7 '16 at 21:00

I filled my gaps with self employment. Nothing fancy, yet I listed work I wasn't getting paid for to fill the gap. It worked well enough that once I used the method, I have employers interested right away. Just refer to friends and family as clients and see how empty your gaps are. You may be shocked!

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