A subscriber wrote to me and asked how they should explain gaps in their employment that were caused by mental health struggles. Here is my response.
Subject timestamps for those who want to jump ahead:
02:22 – Some conversation about today’s professional climate
09:54 – Why employment gaps matter to employers
10:37 – Questions that are illegal to ask in a job interview
16:25 – How should you explain employment gaps caused by mental illness?
22:48 – When mental illness or addiction can help you in an interview
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I am a recent RN grad and I want to get into working in detox/mental health. After high school, I experienced depression and substance abuse. During that time, I was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric hospital twice and was also terminated from a good hospital job. After these setbacks, I began attending Narcotics Anonymous and my life made a 180. Mental health is now my PASSION.
I am hoping you could give me a tip for my resume. I have significant and numerous gaps in my work experience. I have already read articles on this topic – all say HR will assume you’re a drug addict if you don’t clear up the discrepancy because of health issues, freelancing, etc.