Internet commentators were immediately skeptical of an employer’s motives after a potential employee detailed the series of questions they received about a short gap in their resume during a recent interview. hiring.
In a viral tweet, Twitter user @sarahbellumPA said they were asked about a 17-day period they were unemployed last year.
“I was just asked to explain a gap in my resume from September 17th to October 4th,” @sarahbellumPA tweeted.
“Like I didn’t know I was just breathing for a quick second,” she added.
Posted yesterday, March 24, the tweet received nearly 13,000 retweets and was liked more than 284,500 times.
For many employers, gaps in a potential employee’s work history can be a major red flag.
In an interview with the Human Resource Management Company (SHRM), CEO and co-founder of ResumeGo, Peter Yang, said employment gaps can be indicative of work habits that hiring companies typically try to avoid.
“Those with gaps in their work history run the risk of being viewed as lazy or unfocused on their careers, and not a desirable asset in the eyes of potential employers,” Yang told SHRM.
However, despite data showing that potential employees with job gaps are 45% less likely to receive even a first job interview, employers who make decisions solely based on jobless spells may be missing out. excellent candidates.
Laura Mazzullo, owner of New York-based staffing firm East Side Staffing, said candidates with gaps in their resumes aren’t entirely defined by the periods they were unemployed.
“Making assumptions without first asking questions and gathering information could lead to poor hiring decisions,” Mazzullo told SHRM. “Do we know for sure that this person is disloyal? Do we know for sure that he is unable to keep a job for long? No, we don’t.”
Many Twitter users responding to the viral tweet posted by @sarahbellumPA echoed that sentiment and remained adamant that a potential employee’s professional abilities should weigh more heavily than shortcomings in their work history.
“Never understood this question,” Twitter user @exceptionalfood wrote, in a tweet that has been liked nearly 2,000 times.
“They only need to determine if you are qualified and a good fit for the position advertised,” they continued. “Who cares if you took a break at some point in your past?
In a separate reply, which has been liked over 16,000 times, Twitter user @BlindGrigori said the work history questions are designed to impose lopsided power dynamics.
“I spent two weeks in interviews answering invasive and irrelevant questions designed only to create power differentials in a predatory system based on denial of my worth,” they tweeted.
“Like this,” they added, referencing the original tweet.
Twitter user @TriageNurseMD, whose answer has been liked more than 3,200 times, said he tries to make employers feel uncomfortable when answering questions about job gaps.
“Really bored explaining my 4 month job gap,” they tweeted. “I work so they feel bad asking.”
In addition to numerous replies to @sarahbellumPA, Redditors responding to a repost of the viral tweet (in a Reddit thread with over 36,000 votes) speculated that some questions from employers are meant to assess a candidate’s ability to survive financially without a job. .
“[Do] do you think employers ask about discrepancies because they wonder if you have the financial capacity to get up and leave?” asked a Redditor, in a comment that received more than 2,000 votes.
“In other words, ‘I’m afraid you’re not living paycheck to paycheck and if you have enough savings to quit one day, you’re not trapped here, and that’s a risk for us,'” they added, taking an employer’s perspective.
“I sincerely believe this is it,” another Redditor replied. “Really, it’s the only way (apart from the smooth credit check) to try to estimate how much of a nest egg you have in your accounts.”
Newsweek contacted @sarahbellumPA for comment.