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After 3 months taking a chance at a startup, I was asked to leave with little warning. I was, however, given an extra two weeks of time to look for another job, and was already in the process of doing so when this happened.

It's been a week in and I'm seeing the process of finding a new job will drag into another week. However, I sent out lots of resumes listing myself as being at my previous company.

To avoid looking unemployed while searching, I have some consulting work that I'll say I'm doing in the meantime, though we have yet to sign a formal contract I am discussing and doing the work with this client.

I don't want to come across as if I'm lying either. How do I explain this to an employer who calls me back next week?

(Please note: I know there's a similar question about what to say if you were fired while interviewing. What makes my question different is the consulting work and the state of my resume).

Update: I was able to find a new job in about a little over a month.

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    "I have some consulting work that I'll say I'm doing in the meantime. I don't want to come across as if I'm lying either." Are you actually doing consulting work? If not, that's lying. Don't lie. – David K Oct 17 '16 at 17:17
  • I have consulting work, though we have yet to sign a formal contract. My question is more to make sure that people know this resume was sent out before I was let go. For this week, I am telling potential employers that I'm still there (because that's true). I've updated question to reflect that, thanks for asking. – John Doe Oct 17 '16 at 17:18
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    Just don't put exact dates. Putting 10/16 as the end date should be fine. As for gaps, don't sweat it. Nobody's going to really care if you have a gap of a few weeks. – Chris E Oct 17 '16 at 17:30
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    If you are concerned, when you start talking to someone about a new job offer to send them a most recent copy of your resume. – JasonJ Oct 17 '16 at 18:49
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    taking a month even two off between jobs is no big deal. It happens. – Ed Heal Oct 17 '16 at 21:17
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If I understand correctly, your question is whether you should worry about having status A on your resume if your actual status is B. A brief guideline that should work:

Generally, be truthful by listing the current state of affairs at the time you send out the resume. In other words:

For resumes sent out while still employed at current job, list yourself as still employed at current job (e.g. start date - "present"). If you know exact month (which should be sufficient level of precision - no need for specific dates) when employment will stop, you can specify that month (e.g. 10/2014 - 10/2016).

After your status changes, update the resume which you have not yet sent out accordingly, by using the exact month when employment ended (e.g. 10/2016).

If your status changes and you are contacted by employers based on previous version of resume, there is no need to elaborate about your employment situation unless they ask (e.g. during the interview, or when you fill out an employment application, if they have one), or if they request the latest copy of resume at time of interview.

Gaps of 3 months or less are typically expected when switching jobs, especially if this involves relocation, and should not raise eyebrows now or in the future. If your gap in 'formal' employment is less than 3 months, I don't think you need to worry about putting down your consulting experience -- consider it optional and do it if the consulting work is directly related to the job you are applying for (otherwise its benefit for increasing your attractiveness as a candidate is less certain). At least this is how I would handle it. Good luck!

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